The action takes place in Spain at the beginning of the XIV century.
Act first. Scene one. Monastery of St. James Kompostelskogo
Young novice abbot Balthasar Ferdinand said that he refuses to vow obedience: his heart is covered by the love of a woman, name and position which he does not know. Balthasar Ferdinand reluctantly releases from the monastery.
Act first. Scene Two. Garden at the residence of Leonora
Inessa tells the ladies that Leonora, mistress of King Ferdinand love with a young novice and told her to invite him here. Inessa Ferdinand sought out, and he`ll be here. Ferdinand appears. Leonora goes. It calls Ferdinand did not seek a meeting with her love will bring them only misery. But she loves him and wants him to reach a high position. Leonora presents Ferdinand royal decree awarding him the officer`s rank. Date interrupts Inessa: a king and requires Leonora to her. Lovers are forgiven. Ferdinand decides that Leonora is very high position, and he needs to get a reputation, to connect with the beloved.
Act II. Garden of the Royal Alcazar Palace
Minister Don Gaspar tells the king that the Spanish army under the command of a young officer Ferdinand won a decisive victory over the Moors. King happy and ready to reward the winner. The King calls Leonora was incorporated to share in the joy of victory. But Leonora is not fun. Now that she has fallen in love with Ferdinand, the relationship with the king seems to her crime. Enters the garden court. Don Gaspar announces to all of the victory over the Moors. Suddenly includes Balthazar. He brought the papal bull, by which the king should break off relations with the favorite and rehabilitate his wife. The King is not going to obey the Pope`s request. Baltazar said that if the king does not abide by tomorrow, he will be excommunicated.
Act III. The Throne Hall
Ferdinand, who defeated the Moors, arrived with a report to the king. Enter King and Don Gaspar. The King said the minister that is prone to the condition of the papal bull, not to incur the Castile conflict with the church. Seeing Ferdinand, King gladly welcomed it. Included Leonora. She also impressed with his dear. King Ferdinand asks what reward he wanted for his feat. Do not hesitate to ask of King Ferdinand hands Leonora. King shocked: it`s fate - the conflict was resolved with the church itself. The King takes Ferdinand. Leonora in turmoil. She loves Ferdinand, but confused his ambiguous position. Inessa comforts her. There is a king, Ferdinand, Don Gaspar and all the courtiers. The King dedicates Ferdinand in the Knights of St. James, bestow the title of count and gives the hand of Leonora. Ferdinand happily suited to the bride. Today they are married. All go. Don Gaspar, dissatisfied rise Ferdinand told the court that his awards are due not so much a victory over the Moors as marriage to the former mistress of the king. Courtiers whispered. But love does not hear the gossip Ferdinand, he anticipates future happiness. Includes Balthazar. He came to know the decision of the king. Don Gaspar tells him that the king will perform the condition of the Pope: he gives his mistress to marry another man - for Ferdinand. Ferdinand shocked. March to the sound of King Ferdinand leads to Leonora in a wedding dress. Ferdinand throws feet King chain of the Order of St. James, rejects the title of Count and the shameful marriage. In desperation, he goes along with Balthazar.
Act Four. Monastery of St. James
Balthasar Ferdinand prepares for initiation as a monk. All night he must pray, and tomorrow morning will perform the ceremony. Ferdinand senses in turmoil. He still loves Leonora and only pride forced him to give up the bride. Appears the young monk. He is looking for Ferdinand and asks him to leave him alone with him. When the monks go, young man lifts the hood - it`s Leonora. She left the court of the king, and came to the monastery on foot in search of a loved one. Still feel completely possessed Ferdinand. He is ready to give up everything to go with Leonora. They are inseparable, be happy. But too late. Leonora could not stand the moral and physical testing. It falls to the feet of Ferdinand. He calls for help. Uses Balthazar. His words are not comforting: Leonora dead. Dreams of happiness vanished. Tomorrow Ferdinand forever gone from the world and being shut up in a monastery.
Premiered on December 2, 1840 in Paris at the Academy of Music.