As punishment the King forces Isabeau to ride naked on horseback through the town. While the people refuse to look, Folco, the King’s falconer, accidentally glimpses her and is arrested. Visiting Folco in prison, Isabeau falls in love with him, a passion which is doomed.

Written to a libretto by Luigi Illica, Mascagni’s collaborator on Iris, this adaptation of the medieval legend of Lady Godiva fuses the suspense and violence of Cavalleria Rusticana with delirious Wagnerian harmonies and an Intermezzo rich with the sound of bells.