Synopsis by Craig Butler
There is a great deal of tension between the Catholics and the Protestants (Huguenots) as Meyerbeer's Les Huguenots opens. Raoul, a Huguenot, is at a banquet given by Catholics, but does not share the assembled's fondness for mistresses; he is enamored of an unknown woman whom he recently saved. He is then shocked when a series of events leads him to erroneously conclude that this woman, Valentine, is a mistress of the banquet's host. Later, Raoul is instructed by Marguerite de Valois, the King's sister, to wed the daughter of Saint-Bris, a Catholic, and thereby help to ease tensions between the two religions. He agrees, but when he discovers that the daughter is none other than Valentine, he refuses, angering the Catholic noblemen present. Valentine, still in love with Raoul, discovers a plot against his life and convinces Marguerite to intercede, even though doing so betrays her own father. Raoul once again finds himself in love with Valentine, but it is too late - she must now wed another. Soon after, the Queen Mother, Catherine de Medici, issues a decree that all the Protestants are to be killed. Given the chance to escape with his beloved Valentine, Raoul chooses instead to fight with his people. After a battle, Valentine converts to Protestantism to be with her love, only to be among those slaughtered by order of her own father.