Guglielmo Tell

Guglielmo Tell

A romantic and Revolutionary Rossini
in the new production of Vick and the direction of Noseda

Teatro Regio, Wednseday, 7th May 2014, 19:00


William Tell by Rossini, one of the most anticipated events of the season, will be staged at the
Teatro Regio from 7th -18th May. The latest and revolutionary opera by Gioachino Rossini, William Tell, is presented in a new production co-produced with the Rossini Opera Festival and signed by Graham Vick. For the occasion, the opera will be offered in a four-act version with the Italian translation by Calisto Bassi, edited by Paolo Cattelan's in 1988. The Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro Regio will be led by maestro Gianandrea Noseda, who returns to Turin after the great success both at the Metropolitan in New York and the tour with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.
The Chorus of the Teatro Regio, protagonist of some of the most beautiful pages of this opera, you will be directed by the Maestro Claudio Fenoglio. The direction of Graham Vick, with one of the most interesting sets designed specifically for this opera, is recorded by Lorenzo Nencini. The staging, with sets and costumes are by Paul Brown, light by Giuseppe Di Iorio, and the choreography is by Ron Howell, allow different period elements to co-exist thus highlighting the content relevance of this opera.

This production is realized with the support of the Società Reale Mutua di Assicurazioni. Iti Mihalich, President of the Company, said: "We believe in the promotion of culture as it is an essential tool for the social, cultural and economic life of our country. Therefore, we want to strengthen our support to Teatro Regio, a symbol of Italian excellence, of which we have been ‘Founding Members’ since 2012. It is also important that our support in the realisation of William Tell by Rossini coincides with the year the composer wrote the opera and our company was founded.”

In the spectacular production at the Regio, the baritone Dalibor Jenis, the epitome interpreter of the Rossini repertoire, and played Don Carlo last year at the Regio, will be William Tell. Arnoldo Melcthal, torn between love and his home country, will be John Osborn, the award-winning American tenor who made his debut in this role in 2011 under the direction of Antonio Pappano. The soprano Angela Meade, specialised in the Italian operatic repertoire of the early nineteenth century, will give voice to Princess Matilde. Rounding out the cast: Mirco Palazzi (Gualtiero Farst), Fabrizio Beggi (Melchtal), Luca Tittoto (Gessler), Marina Bucciarelli (Jemmy), Mikeldi Atxalandabaso (Ruodi), Luca Casalin (Rodolfo), Ryan Milstead (Leutoldo) and Joseph Capoferri / David Motta Fré (a hunter). In the course of five the performances, the leading roles will alternate with: Enea Scala (Arnold, 9th May) and Erika Grimaldi (Matilde, 9th and 14th May). Please note that the evening performances on 7th, 9th and 14th May will begin at 19:00.

Rossini had lived in Paris for some years and the public anxiously awaited a new opera in French designed explicitly for Paris audiences. He began to write Guillaume Tell in the spring of 1828 and the opera was completed in five months (an unusually long time for the musician). It should have gone on to stage immediately, but a series of setbacks forced him to postpone its debut for a month. The waiting time only fuelled the expectations and the ticket prices. When the opera was finally staged in August, 1829, the public received it rather coldly and only a part of critics and musicians, such as Berlioz and Donizetti knew how to appreciate the beauty of this exquisitely romantic music. Despite all that, for several decades the opera circulated among the major European opera houses both in its original French version and in the Italian translation made by Calisto Bassi in 1831.

For its novelty and for its memorable pages, this opera is considered to be Rossini’s masterpiece, similar to that of the Barber of Seville, albeit enjoying a decidedly different popularity. Many critics have identified in the booklet the reason for the low uptake of the opera, however, as Fedele D'Amico stated: "the drama is slow if compared to the monumental level of its members, who want to be seen for a long time; but it is wise to the point of keeping the listeners’ attention continually.” Even the director Graham Vick has confessed that he thought of William Tell to be a long and boring opera, but after his study he has radically changed his mind: “I realized that the real protagonist of the opera is not William Tell, but the people. In the heart of the drama there is a community defending its identity through dance and songs; and this touched me deeply.” Vick believes that the opera addresses universal themes and, above all, is about our contemporary world: "We are in this opera. We are not only the strong and independent people looking for a homeland, but we are also the ones who, looking from a different perspective, exploit the weak, which makes it the deepest directing aspect. In my direction, there are many things that can disturb, but there is also beauty.” Gianandrea Noseda considers the William Tell one of the greatest masterpieces of the repertoire of all time. Noseda says: “I think Rossini, with great sensitivity, felt the changes that were taking place around him. So he decided to leave the scene but does so with the mastery of a “coup de théâtre”, showing to the world, through William Tell, that if he wanted, he could have made it a landmark in the eighteenth century melodrama.” Noseda analyses the masterpiece of Rossini from a lucid historical perspective, defining it as: “a title to help us sum up the experiences of the past in order to obtain the very best to then look ahead into the future.”

According to Vick, William Tell has a disruptive political content which many contemporary Rossini listeners would agree; in fact the booklet was censored on many occasions. The action takes place in the fourteenth century and focuses on the figure of William Tell, the hero of the revolt of the Swiss against the Austrian invaders. William is a man of integrity whose thoughts are always directed to the oppressed homeland; contrary to his young friend Arnoldo Melchtal who had not decided to embrace the cause of the patriots entirely because he was in love with Matilda, a Habsburg princess. Leutoldo, followed by the Austrian governor Gessler and his soldiers, abruptly interrupts the wedding ceremony of some shepherds for they have killed an Austrian who had raped his daughter. William manages to rescue the fugitive but the Austrians, in retaliation, take Arnold’s father hostage. Meanwhile, the young man discovering that his love for Matilde is reciprocal, decides to join the invaders’ army in order to marry her; William dissuades him informing of his father's death at the hands of the Austrians. Arnold then decides to kill Gessler and joins the rebels that are coming from the different cantons to be under the command of William. Gessler gives further proof of his authoritarianism erecting a trophy topped by his own hat in the middle of the square of Altdorf claiming that the community should pay him homage. William and his son Jemmy refuse, so the governor forces William to take a test: he had to hit an apple placed over a baby’s head with an arrow. William succeeds but was then immediately arrested because it turns out that he would have tried to kill Gessler if he had aimed wrongly. Meanwhile, Matilde rescues Jemmy and takes him to her mother and he, following the instructions of William, gives the order to rebel against the conspirators. This triggers the plot events, and while the Swiss were conquering the city of Altdorf, William manages to escape and kill Gessler. When the riot subsides, the voice of a great thanking chorus is heard.

The opera premier will be broadcast live on Radio Rai - Radio3 on 7th May at 19:00. William Tell will be presented to the public by Alberto Mattioli at the Le conferenze del Regio which will take place at the Piccolo Regio Puccini on Wednesday 30th April at 17:30 and on Tuesday 6th May at 16:30 - when it resumed the title of Rossini absent for nearly fifty years in our theatre - at the Piccolo Regio Puccini held the conference Around William Tell by Prof. Pier Paolo Portinaro, organized in collaboration with the University of Turin - Department of Political Studies. Among the speakers there is: Professor Portinaro University of Turin (Between history, myth and legend); Prof. Maria Carolina Foi University of Trieste (the " Wilhelm Tell" by Schiller. A genealogy of human rights?) and Prof . Morello Riccardo University of Turin (Between nature and history. Considerations on the “William Tell “), the entrance is free.

As usual, you can follow the backstage and discover entertaining curiosity about interpreters and fitting, by looking at the Scketch of Passion of Paola Giunti on and on our channel / TeatroRegioTorino.

Ticket sale: Teatro Regio, Piazza Castello 215 - Tel 011.8815.241/242 at Infopiemonte - TorinoCultura on or by phone with a credit card calling: 011.8815.270. For more information: 011.8815.557.

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