William Tell: Rossini's Grand Finale
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Gioachino Rossini was only 37-years-old when he wrote his final opera, William Tell. Although he lived for another 40 years, this epic work would remain a swan song of sorts. The libretto — based on a French play by Friedrich Schiller — tells the story of a Swiss community fighting for political freedom under Hapsburg rule. Through the music, we understand Tell's struggle to keep his family together while serving the greater good, and we experience a love that transcends tribal and national boundaries.
On this week's episode of He Sang/She Sang, hosts Merrin Lazyan and Julian Fleisher are joined by author Fred Plotkin to discuss the glorious music of Rossini's final opera, William Tell. We also speak with the Tony-nominated set designer George Tsypin about the themes of nature and freedom that inspired him.
Fred's YouTube pick (Luciano Pavarotti):
Merrin's YouTube pick (Mary Schneider):
Julian's YouTube pick:
This episode features excerpts from the following album:
Rossini: William Tell (EMI Classics, 2011)
— Gerald Finley, baritone; Marie-Nicole Lemieux, contralto; Elena Xanthoudakis, soprano; Malin Byström, soprano; John Osborn, tenor; Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia conducted by Antonio Pappano