Opéra en 5 actes
Composer: Giacomo Meyerbeer (1791–1864)
Libretto: Eugène Scribe
First performance: Salle Le Peletier, 16 April 1849
SETTING: Dordrecht, Holland, and Munster, 1534–35, at the time of the Anabaptist revolution
PLOT: The ‘prophet’ of the title is Jean de Leyde, a tailor, who becomes leader of the Anabaptists and captures Münster. Jean is motivated by revenge against the Comte d’Oberthal, who imprisons Jean’s mother Fidès and fiancée Berthe, the Count’s vassal, but commits crime after crime and ends by declaring himself the son of God. Fidès, whom he publicly repudiated, persuades him to renounce his titles; Berthe kills herself when she learns that Jean is the murderous prophet; and Jean blows himself up with his enemies and his mother.
No. 10 – Arioso: ‘Ah! mon fils, sois béni’
The Comte d’Oberthal has forced Jean to choose between the life of his mother Fidès and the honour of his beloved Berthe. Fidès blesses her son for choosing her.
Fidès, mère de Jean de Leyde / Jean de Leyde’s mother (mezzo-soprano): Marilyn Horne
Conductor: Henry Lewis
Orchestra Sinfonica e Coro di Torino della RAI