Rossini's 'William Tell' From the Royal Opera House

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Thursday, October 01, 2015

Rossini's 'William Tell' from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in London Rossini's 'William Tell' from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in London (Clive Barda)

Join us for what has been the most talked-about opera production of 2015: Italian director Damiano Michieletto's update of Rossini's William Tell, in which the classic tale of the 14th-century Swiss hero is set amid the Balkan conflict of the 1990s.

The Royal Opera House production drew strong reactions when it premiered June 29, largely because of a third-act rape scene with nudity. The opera house issued an age restriction to movie theater audiences soon afterwards and explained that Michieletto's intent is to "convey the horrible reality of warfare."

Radio audiences, of course, will have a very different experience of the production, which features baritone Gerald Finley in the title role, tenor John Osborn as Arnold Melcthal, and soprano Malin Bayström as Mathilde, in a performance led by conductor Antonio Pappano.


William Tell: Gerald Finley (baritone)
Hedwige: Enkelejda Shkosa (mezzo-soprano)
Jemmy: Sofia Fomina (soprano)
Mathilde: Malin Byström (soprano)
Arnold Melcthal: John Osborn (tenor)
Melcthal: Eric Halfvarson (bass)
Gesler: Nicolas Courjal (bass)
Walter Furst: Alexander Vinogradov (bass)
Ruodi: Ji Hyun Kim (tenor)
Leuthold: Samuel Dale Johnson (bass)

Royal Opera House Orchestra and Chorus
Antonio Pappano, conductor

Comments [3]

Luis Chirinos from Lima, Peru

What happened? You announced Guillaume Tell and so it appears in the Operavore page, but you passed Tchaikovsky´s Iolanta and Stravinsky'Persphone. Of course, I love them both, but we all expected Guillaume Tell. I do hope you will have it soon. Thanks

Oct. 01 2015 06:21 PM
Hendrik Sadi from Yonker, NY

We don't need to be reminded of the "horrible reality of warfare." We have had too many wars in the past century and this century to be reminded of it.
Updating the William Tell story to the Balkans conflict just pushes the envelope into an area we don't need to go into.

Oct. 01 2015 09:12 AM
Sanford Rothenberg from Brooklyn

New Yorkers will have a chance to see and hear this production,as it will be presented at Symphony Space this coming Sunday.The action has been toned down,but there is still an advisory, and age restrictions (15 and over)for the showing.As written previously on these pages,it is a shame that the distasteful updating of the action has taken away from more relevant musical topics such as the pivotal tenor role,Arnold,and the half hour of music cut by Pappano for this production.

Sep. 30 2015 02:57 PM

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