Brief synopsis

While all the men in town are away at war, notorious skirt-chaser Count Ory stays back and decides to make a move on Countess Adele. Unfortunately for him, Adele is in love with Ory’s page Isolier. Count Ory adopts one disguise after another to seduce Adele, but he ultimately gets caught and is forced to make a run for it.

Act One

Most of the men in town have left for the Holy Land to fight in the Crusades. The women eagerly await their return, all staying together in the castle. Among these women are Countess Adele and her companion Ragonde.

Count Ory has his eyes on Adele, and decides to make a move on her while the men are away. He disguises himself as a hermit. His friend Raimbaud announces that the hermit will be offering relationship advice to those who seek it. The women, who are lonely in the castle, visit the hermit and get his blessings. Ragonde tells the hermit that Countess Adele is very sad and afflicted by heartache. She then informs the hermit that Adele will come to him shortly, which gets Count Ory very excited. Ory’s page Isolier arrives along with his tutor. Isolier does not recognize the Count in his disguise, but the tutor knows something is up, especially since they have been on the hunt for Ory. He leaves to get backup.

While the tutor is away, Isolier confesses to the hermit that he is in love with Countess Adele. The hermit tells Isolier about a plan to enter the castle disguised as a pilgrim. Count Ory, of course, intends to use this plan to get closer to Adele.

Adele arrives and asks the hermit for advice, and is surprised to hear his recommendation. He tells Adele to have an affair.

She reveals that she has feelings for Isolier, but the hermit immediately warns her to stay away from the page. Adele invites the hermit back to her castle, thankful for his advice. As they make their way inside, the tutor returns with backup and declares that the hermit is a fraud, and is in fact Count Ory in disguise. Everyone is shocked. 

They receive news that the men will be home from battle in two days. Count Ory knows he must act fast to get what he wants.

Act Two

The evening is terribly stormy and all the women are inside the castle. Suddenly, they hear screams from outside the castle. It appears to be a group of pilgrim nuns who are trying to escape the storm. Adele asks them to be let in, and when they enter, the nuns announce that they were being chased by Count Ory. Little do the women know, the nuns are actually Count Ory and his men in disguise.

Ory gets Adele alone and thanks her for welcoming them into the castle. Adele leaves to have a meal prepared for the guests. Elsewhere in the castle, Raimbaud stumbles into the wine cellar. All the men get copiously drunk and become very rowdy.  

Isolier realizes what Count Ory is up to and reveals the information to Adele. Together, they decide to trick Ory in return. 

It is announced that the men will return that very night, much earlier than expected. Both Isolier and Count Ory hide in Adele’s bedroom in the dark. As Ory tries to take advantage of the night and kiss Adele, Isolier makes sure he is thwarted. Before long, trumpets signal the arrival of the men, and Count Ory is caught in the act. He makes a run for it.