Clara: Patricia McCarry
Captain Montalban: Martin Dempsey
Marquis de Valmour: Adrian de Peyer
Count Rosenberg: Brendan McNally
Michel: Derick Davies
Marcella: Anna Reynolds
The Father Guardian: Franco Ventriglia
First Peasant Girl: Angela Jenkins
Second Peasant Girl: Dorothy Wilson
|Wexford Chorus Coach
|Mrs C Hore
|Visiting Chorus Coach
|Assistant Chorus Coach
|Jeanie Reddin, Courtney Kenny
The opera is set in France during the 17th century, during the time of the Huguenot Wars. The story revolves around the love between two young people, Isabelle and Henri, who come from opposing sides of the conflict.
Act I opens with the Huguenots celebrating their victory over the Catholic forces in La Rochelle. Henri, a young Huguenot, is in love with Isabelle, a Catholic woman. Despite their different religious backgrounds, they vow to marry each other. However, their love is threatened by the ongoing conflict between the two factions.
In Act II, the Catholic forces led by the Duke of Angoulême lay siege to La Rochelle. Henri and Isabelle are separated, and Henri is forced to take up arms against the Catholics. Meanwhile, Isabelle's father, Count de Mericourt, tries to force her to marry a Catholic nobleman, but she refuses.
Act III sees the Huguenots running low on supplies and morale as the siege drags on. Henri manages to sneak into La Rochelle to see Isabelle, but they are discovered by the Duke of Angoulême. Henri is captured and sentenced to death.
In Act IV, Isabelle pleads with her father to spare Henri's life, but he refuses. She then turns to the Duke of Angoulême, who agrees to free Henri if she agrees to marry him. Isabelle reluctantly agrees, but at the last minute, Henri is saved by a surprise attack from the Huguenots. The opera ends with Henri and Isabelle reunited and the Huguenots emerging victorious from the siege.
"The Siege of Rochelle" is a tale of love and war set against the backdrop of one of France's most tumultuous periods. Balfe's music is full of stirring melodies and dramatic moments, making it a classic of 19th-century opera.