Lanciotto – a Venetian renegade – leads the Turkish forces against the hopelessly outnumbered Venetian garrison holed up inside the Acrocorinth. What is his surprise to find out that his first and only love – Francesca, the Governor’s daughter – is herself then present inside the besieged Venetians?
In a vision, Franscesca begs Lanciotto – who had abandoned both homeland and religion to adopt those of the Turks – to forgive those Venetians who had forced him to flee Venice: and to avert the senseless slaughter planned for the morrow while winning her hand in marriage: as both had long desired.
- Can Lanciotto forgive his false accusers – his own countrymen, who forced had him into penurious exile?
- Even if he wished: can Lanciotto save the lives of the Venetians slated for certain death or enslavement?