GUILLAUME TELL / GUGLIELMO TELL
(cantato in francese // sung in french)
Nahuel di Pierro
Marco Filippo Romano
Camerata Bach Chor - Virtuosi Brunensis
Registrazione dal vivo // Recorded live at the Festival Rossini in Wildbad, July 2013
*First complete DVD release of the original version*
*Prima edizione in DVD della versione originale*
Guillaume Tell is one of those monuments in the history of opera that is surprisingly little known to the broad operatic public, and, at least during the last century, was seldom staged. Almost immediately after its premiere at the Paris Opéra on August 3, 1829, it was realized by musicians and critics that this was a far-reaching masterpiece, and indeed, this opera’s influence on composers in the nineteenth century, including Meyerbeer, Verdi and Wagner, was deep and lasting. And yet some of the same features which made it so unique have militated against it entering the standard repertory. The very size of the forces necessary for the production made it difficult from the first for companies without the resources of the Paris Opéra to mount the work as originally conceived. To perform it in toto demands a corps de ballet, remarkable scenic effects and a tenor who can cope with a role originally written for Adolphe Nourrit.
Changes and cuts were made by Rossini up to and beyond the premiere on August 3, 1829. Jemmy’s aria, for instance, was cut, and Mathilde was excised from the fourth act entirely. During the following decades, there were so many versions of the score, some produced with Rossini’s collaboration, that it became difficult to know exactly what the “real” Guillaume Tell looked and sounded like, at least until the critical edition edited by Elizabeth C. Bartlet and published by the Fondazione Rossini came out in 1992—the two hundredth anniversary of Rossini’s birth.
The critical edition made a “complete” Guillaume Tell, even an ur-Tell possible, but not many companies, even after 1992, have performed the work without substantial cuts. The ROSSINI IN WILDBAD Festival decided, in celebration of their twenty-fifth anniversary, to perform the work for the first time in its entirety.