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Your Reaction: Guillaume Tell in cinemas 2015

What did you think of our live relay of Damiano Michieletto's production of Rossini's grand opera?

By Ellen West (Head of Creative Studios and Digital Products)

5 July 2015 at 8.06pm | 24 Comments

Guillaume Tell runs 29 June–17 July 2015. Tickets are still available.

Our next live cinema relay is Romeo and Juliet on 22 September 2015.

By Ellen West (Head of Creative Studios and Digital Products)

5 July 2015 at 8.06pm

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged by Damiano Michieletto, cinema, comments, Guillaume Tell, Production, tweets, your reaction

This article has 24 comments

  1. Carole Larsons responded on 5 July 2015 at 8:23pm Reply

    What a good thing that we ignored the reviews and saw William a Tell this afternoon at the cinema. It was a tremendously powerful production and the singers, chorus and orchestra superb.
    We thoroughly enjoyed it.

  2. Parent responded on 5 July 2015 at 9:31pm Reply

    Singers, chorus, orchestra : superb,
    but Guillaume Tell and guns and Kalachnikow : bof.
    Damiano Michieletto no thanks.
    (it is my opinion...)

  3. Roger Taylor responded on 5 July 2015 at 9:32pm Reply

    What fantastic singing and orchestral playing and conducting of William Tell on live cinema today, with a thought provoking production. Welsh National Opera have also have also performed this opera this season. This is a great opera which deserves a more prominent place in the repertoire. Thank you ROH.

  4. Derek Babstock responded on 5 July 2015 at 9:49pm Reply

    Just got home after seeing this in Niort, France. Music and vocals fabulous. Set simple but effective. `Rape` scene probably not necessary, but in context in this production. Spoilt by being so far out of period context - Sub machine guns ????

  5. marisa bonetto responded on 5 July 2015 at 9:49pm Reply

    Very good staging exellent cast cinema full of people in Torino and all the comments were positive!

  6. Michael Stoddart responded on 5 July 2015 at 11:10pm Reply

    Was the man with the feather in his hat a refugee from another opera?Another dire production on a par with Onegin and Nabucco.Thank God for the extremely high quality singing and orchestral playing which made the afternoon worthwhile.

  7. Stef responded on 6 July 2015 at 7:48am Reply

    Apparently this so-called "rape scene" has upset only some moralizing British audience members at the opening performance. Other than that, only well-deserved positive comments. I have seen the performance 3 times already and this won't be the last time.

  8. Peter Erdos responded on 6 July 2015 at 10:00am Reply

    Difficult decision to descsibe my divided opinion. I saw the opera th first time in 1958 with the Scala production and very effective music on a young mind (skeleton production)The next time was 1990, enjoyed tremendously, could hardly wait for the next.. 25 years later a production claiming to be a true presentation of grand french opera put in the hands of a young and inexperienced producer totally eluded that claim. The updating I found inconsequential,contradicting libretto and music.The much discussed "rape" scene watered down to please public furor, not worth mentioning. I was most annoyed by the total misconception of the opera. The Management in their defence claimed that certain aspects are in the libretto, yes but in the libretto there are references to mountains and lakes (don't forget it is Switzerland!) certainly not the village hall with strip neon lights changing to a chandelier when Mathilde is present. Lots of other minor irritations.
    However the savior for me is ROSSINI ! Pappano,Finley,Bystrom and Osborn were all magnificent with the chorus at their very best.Every climax of each act was brought out superbly. This is a great opera which deserves a much worthier presentation at one of the world greatest opera houses though.

  9. Opera at cinema responded on 6 July 2015 at 10:33am Reply

    Quel dommage que la mise en scène soit aussi brutale. C'est trop, beaucoup trop, même si nous savons que l'Autriche opprime la Suisse. Moins de violence, et surtout la suppression de toute scène de viol eut été bienvenue.

  10. Cristina responded on 6 July 2015 at 2:52pm Reply

    From Viareggio, Italy: I watched it Yesterday, for the first time (with an english friend): powerful, and superb singers, chorus and orchestra!

  11. MariaCarricarte responded on 6 July 2015 at 3:58pm Reply

    We attended yesterday on the cinema and loved it. The singers, performance, stunning and compelling
    Just great. Thanks

  12. Liane responded on 6 July 2015 at 4:10pm Reply

    I can only add to the positive comments of all the others. After the first so unbelievably negative comments of the premiere, I wanted to cancel my cinema ticket and am I glad I did'nt!!! I did love the production though I would have liked to see and expierence a bit of the scenery and atmosphere of this gorgeous country and be it only as a "folkloristic" ballet in the wedding scene. The rape, I think, fitted in and singing, acting, conducting, orchestra ,and particularly ROSSINI were absolutely wonderful. The chorus was also fabulous and deserves special mention. Why is this GREAT opera not more often shown? I hope we don't have to wait another 23 years for its next appearance.

  13. Florence from France responded on 6 July 2015 at 9:59pm Reply

    I saw on line reports about the violence and rape scene. It didn't shock me as much as the costumes and modern arms.
    Switzerland was not at war in the forties nor since and it didn't make sens.
    The scenery and lightning was perfect though. As the music and singers.
    My favorite was the second act with the trio then the chorus. Really powerfull and enjoyable. Which doesn't mean I didn't appreciate the three other acts.
    I didn't know this opera but the overture and it was quite an experience.
    Thank you very much

  14. bataille responded on 7 July 2015 at 10:35am Reply

    je vous prie de m'excuser mais mon anglais n'est pas assez riche pour trouver les mots justes.
    A ce jour jai assisté a 972 representations d'opera
    dans toute l'Europe depuis 1957 et ce avec tous les grands chanteurs possibles cela pour dire que
    la representation de Guillaume Tell du ROH restera
    gravée longtemps dans ma memoire.
    spectacle magnifiquement construit ,pour bien juger la mise en scène il faut avoir quelques references liées au theatre ,la dramatisation est portée a son comble,les( symboles très forts liés a la terre)les mouvements de foule très bien reglés
    la direction d'acteurs parfaite
    les chanteurs : exceptionnels !!
    pourriez vous transmettre toute mon admiration
    en particulier a Gerald Finley personnage puissant
    mouvant, : grandiose!!!!!!!!!!

    bravo ROH

  15. Derek Saunders responded on 7 July 2015 at 1:14pm Reply

    I sang in the Northern Opera chorus in 1971 when we put on William Tell in the Theatre Royal, Newcastle. Why is it rarely performed? Because it needs many soloists and 3 male voice choirs to do it justice. Some of the impact of the coming together of the 3 Cantons to fight was lost; there only appeared to be 2. The chorus singing however was powerful throughout. The 'tree' set was used effectively especially when lit from underneath and the shadows projected on to the backdrop. One didn't however get the feeling of hiding and running through a forest in the fight scenes. The strip lights helped to focus the attention on the part of the stage where action was happening but they looked out of place in what should have been a mountain environment.
    Bringing it into the 20th century allowed more colourful costumes than normally associated with these historical dramas. Gesler's men, likened to the Gestapo, were not aggressive enough in all their interactions with the Swiss. More aggression and fear would have led more naturally to the 'rape' scene. I don't know if or what modifications were made to this after the critic's / public outcry but, in terms of what happens in wartime rebellions and what is seen in other art forms, the scene was quite in context, not gratuitous, and quite acceptable; do I take it that all theatre opera goers are prudes? I saw it in the cinema.
    As for the soloists, they were all exceptional in their singing and acting especially the Arnold / Matilda duet in act 2. Long gone are the days when the best opera singers were 'overly large'! So much easier to get into and look convincing in their role. I felt it a shame that Arnold had to go through almost have the opera in a soil stained vest - I'm sure he would have changed it sometime during the rebellion!
    To sum up, a really great production which we were fortunate enough to see through cinema screening. Perhaps the atmosphere is not quite the same in the theatre but this is more than countered by the close up camera work showing off the acting skills far more than an 'all stage' view. We will continue to enjoy these cinematic experiences of great works.

  16. David Calvert-Orange responded on 7 July 2015 at 1:17pm Reply

    For me this was THE BEST EVER production of the very many operas I have seen. Though I love traditional performances this for me was ABSOLUTE PERFECTION! Everything about it was STUPENDOUS I am very short of superlatives but I think you are aware of the awe in which I hold the wonderful spectacle and sound that confronted me from beginning to end of this Rossini's final and perhaps best opera so rarely performed. Of course the soloists were magnificent ... especially 'Count Almaviva' as William Tell ... I can never forget him in his Mozartian role which was sheer perfection. However all the soloists were superb but a special mention has to be given for Tell's son who really did look like and act like a boy until of course 'she' sang!. ANOTHER VERY SPECIAL FEATURE WAS THE TREE this was a sheer spark of genius as was the earth on the stage. The production was so emotional and spellbinding ... one I shall never forget ... I hope it is soon out on Blu-ray DVD!!! Thank you ROH Thank you X 10000!!!!

  17. Garth responded on 8 July 2015 at 9:14am Reply

    Obtuse complainers about unacceptable violence imposed by the director seem quite relaxed about the idea of a father being forced to fire a cross-bow bolt at his young son's head - whose idea was that?

  18. jeffrey riley responded on 8 July 2015 at 11:02am Reply

    We have suffered some dreadful operatic experiences in recent years thanks to a variety of different producers. We didn't see Idomoneo but Glyndebourne's Ariadne stands out as a low point. Press reviews suggested that we were in for another frustrating experience but in the event we found Act 3 disturbing, compelling and the inclusion of a rape scene entirely legitimate. Perhaps our view would have been different if we had been there on the first night without the benefit of having seen interviews with the producer and singers. Some aspects of the production irritated but overall we found the production intelligent and thought provoking.

    Jeff and Julia Riley

  19. michael goodwin responded on 9 July 2015 at 10:56am Reply

    The director doesn't have the artistic maturity to handle such a complex work: why was John Arnold fussing with childrens toy soldiers in the middle of his final aria, which he had not touched in the entire preceding 3 hrs.? It seemed like just another A.D.D. moment from a director who appeared afraid and suspicious when the staging wasn't hyperkinetic and manic. I'm far from being a traditionalist, but lets accept that there is good and bad in contemporary stagings. By the end of the opera I was ready to start a petition to ban the director from all future public spaces.

  20. Loge responded on 9 July 2015 at 4:40pm Reply

    Michael Goodwin, petition or not, I am sorry having to inform you that Damiano Michieletto is probably the most sought-after opera director in the world and his agenda for the coming 5-6 years is already full, including Cavalleria Rusticana / Pagliacci at the ROH in December of this year.

  21. Ekaterina N responded on 10 July 2015 at 9:56am Reply

    Loge, as for Mr Michieletto being engaged for the next 5 or 6 years it only means that there are quite a few directors of opera like Mr Holten with certain view of how operas should be directed, nothing more.

  22. Howard Jones responded on 10 July 2015 at 4:51pm Reply

    Having read some press reviews I attended last Sunday's performance expecting to be horrified by the production. However I felt that it was a cleverly thought-out production with many interesting ideas. I would certainly go and see it again. Musically it could not be bettered. A wonderful afternoon in the Opera House!

  23. Tony Boyd-Williams responded on 17 July 2015 at 7:17pm Reply

    VERY heartening to read the positive comments about this fantastic production. My wife and I were also enjoying the actual performance at ROH and agree with Mr Howard Jones that it was a wonderful afternoon .This production with brilliant direction by Damiano Michieletto (what inspired movement of principals and chorus )and equally brilliant conducting by Antonio Pappano plus the marvellous singing of soloists and chorus makes this Guillaume Tell one to treasure, and the DVD is eagerly awaited.

  24. Paulo Aguiar responded on 28 September 2015 at 10:52pm Reply

    All Members of Covent Garden Opera House,
    Ladies and Gentlemen,
    I am maestro of a gregorian chorus for children in
    Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais state, Brazil.
    Thank you so much for the gorgeous Rossini Guglielmo Tell,
    soloists, chorus and orchestra, your enthusiam, profissionalism, sublime musica rara.

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