Sunday, September 11, 2011

Jan Peerce: Passover Scene From Halévy's La Juive

La Juive (The Jewess) by Fromental Halévy: From Act 2: Inside the house of Éléazar during a Passover seder. Jan Peerce (1904-1984) was a Jewish-America tenor from New York City.

The synopsis of the opera can be found here, and some background notes on the opera can be found here. Mr. Halévy's opera is as much about religious tolerance as it is about liberal democratic values. It is fitting to hear this passage today, since Passover is also called the Festival of Freedom, and political freedom and pluralism are both hallmarks of democracy.


  1. When I saw the opera performed at the Met, Eleazar extinguished the candles at the end of the Seder. Apparently, the producers didn't know that Jews are forbidden from putting out candles during a holiday but instead let them burn themselves out.

  2. Hi Prof Jochnowitz:

    Although it was technically wrong, as you pointed out, might it have been done for dramatic effect?


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