6 July 2015 at 4.43pm | 2 Comments
The production, which stars Gerald Finley, Malin Byström and John Osborn, conducted by Royal Opera Music Director Antonio Pappano, had its world premiere on 29 June 2015. Read audience reactions to the opening night and the live cinema screening.
The relay featured a series of backstage films, including rehearsal footage and interviews with members of the cast and creative team. If you missed the screening on the night, or just want to find out more about the production, you can watch the films here:
An Introduction to Guillaume Tell
Guillaume Tell depicts the Swiss battle for liberation from repressive Austrian occupation. ‘Rossini had a very clear idea of the beginning and end of the piece, and the journey of the people of Switzerland overcoming this oppression,’ explains Antonio Pappano. ‘The finale is of another world. It is music of an idea – of liberty, freedom, brotherhood, closeness, humanity – and it’s gigantic in how it develops from just a stirring, to a vision of how the world can be’.
Hear more from Gerald Finley (Guillaume Tell), Malin Byström (Mathilde), John Osborn (Arnold) and Sofia Fomina (Jemmy) about the characters and themes in the opera:
Singing the role of Arnold
Guillaume Tell features some of Rossini’s most inspired music, music that is harmonically daring and fiercely difficult for the singers. American tenor John Osborn performs the role of Arnold.
‘John Osborn embodies many things’, says Antonio. ‘The voice is a sweet light voice and yet it has a heroic quality, so he’s able to go from the most subtle bel canto singing, to the full-on, sparky, meaty type of singing that gets our blood boiling.’
Hear more from Antonio about the role, and from John Osborn about how he prepares to perform it:
The Role of the Chorus
‘We feel this really is a chorus opera’, says Katy Batho of The Royal Opera Chorus. ‘It’s crucial that the chorus are there because if there’s no people there’s no hero needed, and that’s one of our responsibilities in this production – to give Guillaume Tell something to fight for.’
‘The scale of the chorus and our involvement drives the rhythm, takes the opera forward and sets the scene’, says Simon Biazeck of the Extra Chorus. ‘That’s what French grand opera is about, and it's fascinating to hear Rossini do it.’
Hear more from Antonio Pappano and members of the Chorus about their role in Guillaume Tell:
For more films, articles about and photos of the production, download our Guillaume Tell Digital Programme.
Guillaume Tell was the final screening of the 2014/15 Live Cinema Season. Find an encore screening of Guillaume Tell and sign up to our cinema mailing list.
The production is staged with generous philanthropic support from Hélène and Jean Peters and David Hancock.