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Guillaume Tell

29 June—17 July 2015
Main Stage

Damiano Michieletto makes his Royal Opera House debut with a new production of Rossini's final opera and greatest masterpiece.

When to see it

The Story

The Swiss hero William Tell longs to liberate his people from the cruel Austrian occupation. When he helps a Swiss prisoner escape Austrian justice he comes to the attention of the governor Gesler – who sadistically forces Tell to shoot an apple off his son's head.

Read more… (Contains spoilers)

Background

Guillaume Tell had its premiere in 1829, when Gioachino Rossini was 37. He wouldn't write another opera in the remaining 39 years of his life. Rossini's letters suggest he knew Guillaume Tell would be his farewell to opera – an idea that seems to be confirmed by the magnificent music he was inspired to produce. The score – harmonically daring and fiercely difficult for the singers – has an opulent architectural grandeur, heightened with vivid evocations of the soaring Swiss landscape and an incisive dramatic interpretation of Schiller's heroic play.

Italian rising star Damiano Michieletto (La bohème and Falstaff at Salzburg Festival; Un ballo in maschera at La Scala, Milan) makes his Royal Opera House debut with The Royal Opera's new production, its first since 1990. Rossini made full use of his considerable powers of invention to create some of his greatest music, with highlights such as Tell's Act III aria 'Sois immobile' and the astonishing Act II trio 'Quand l'Helvétie est un champ de supplices' clearly paving the way for Berlioz, Verdi and Wagner.

News and features

On Wikipedia

William Tell (French: Guillaume Tell, Italian: Guglielmo Tell) is an opera in four acts by Gioachino Rossini, with a French libretto by Étienne de Jouy and Hippolyte Bis based on Friedrich Schiller's play William Tell, which drew on the William Tell legend. This opera was Rossini's last, even though the composer lived for nearly forty more years. The overture, with its famous finale, "March Of The Swiss Soldiers," is a major part of the concert and recording repertoire.Charles Malherbe, archivist at the Paris Opéra, discovered the original orchestral score of the opera at a secondhand book seller's shop, resulting in its being acquired by the Paris Conservatoire.

Abstract taken from the Wikipedia article William Tell (opera), available under a Creative Commons license.