Tour 2014 Edinburgh International Festival

The Teatro Regio is a guest of the prestigious Scottish Festival preseting Rossini’s masterpiece:William Tell

Edinburgh, Usher Hall, Tuesday, 26th August 2014 at 18.30

After a triumphant tour in St. Petersburg, the Teatro Regio has been invited, for the first time, to the Edinburgh International Festival, the famous Scottish Festival that has offered, since 1947, the best of international music and theatre. In just three weeks, the Festival presents more than 140 performances, distributed in the six locations around the city. 
The Regio was the only Italian theatre invited to perform in Edinburgh this year and for the occasion, Gianandrea Noseda will conduct William Tell, by Rossini, in concert form, as well as the Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro Regio. This was made possible thanks to the support of the Italian Embassy in Britain within "Suona Italiano", a great music festival in the United Kingdom under the Italian Presidency of the European Union, and the Italian Cultural Institute in Edinburgh.

The mighty of this opera, presented in the 2013-2014 season, has gained such a wide public and critical acclaim that it has become the Regio’s emblem of high quality. In Edinburgh, the baritone Dalibor Jenis, an appreciated interpreter of Rossini repertoire, gives voice to William Tell. Arnoldo Melcthal, the conspirator, torn between love and country, will be John Osborn, an 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 the Princess Matilde. Rounding out the cast: Mirco Palazzi (Walter Farst), Fabrizio Beggi (Melchtal), Luca Tittoto (Gesler), Marina Bucciarelli (Jemmy), Anna Maria Chiuri (Edwige), Mikeldi Atxalandabaso (Ruodi), Luca Casalin (Rodolfo) and Paolo Maria Orecchia (Leutoldo). The Chorus of the Teatro Regio, the protagonist of some of the most beautiful pages of this opera, will be directed by Maestro Claudio Fenoglio. The opera, performed in concert form, had the Italian translation by Calisto Bassi, edited by Paolo Cattelan's in 1988. 
Gianandrea Noseda considers William Tell one of the greatest masterpieces of the repertoire of all time. Noseda says: "I think that Rossini, with great sensitivity, felt the change 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.” 
Rossini began to write Guillaume Tell, his last and revolutionary opera, in the spring of 1828. He had lived in Paris for some years and the audience awaited anxiously a new opera in French and designed explicitly for the Parisians. 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.
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.”
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. The young man discovering that his love for Matilda 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, Matilda 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. 
As usual, you can follow the backstage as well as find out some curiosity about the performers and the concert, watching the Sketches of Passion by Paola Giunti on our website and on our channel YouTube.com/TeatroRegioTorino.

 

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Turin, 16th July 2014

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