What do you know about William Tell? Everyone knows the infectious tune used as the Lone Ranger theme. Everyone (probably) knows of the iconic scene in which Tell, fighting against Austrian oppression, shoots an apple on his son’s head. But there is much more to this opera than any of this suggests. If you’re looking for a night of inspiring heroism, a poignant story on an epic scale, uplifting music, spectacular sets and stunning costumes, you’ll find that William Tell hits the target with masterly precision.
Rossini’s last opera brings together the ever topical subject of foreign occupation, as stark and oppressive as a jagged Alpine peak, with sublime moments of uplifting hope and serenity. Though better known for his comedies, Rossini reveals the more serious side of his character with a story that twists, turns and plays with our emotions. This production will see Swiss traditional folk costumes set against stiff, grey Austrian uniforms. The beautifully choreographed ballet sequences add to the contrast.
Our hero stands against this brooding and captivating landscape. The focus of his nation’s irrepressible aspiration, William Tell underlines how a nation once emboldened and aroused, like the natural world, will inevitably triumph. All it takes is a moment.
Supported by David Speller, the WNO Bel Canto Syndicate and WNO Friends.
Music courtesy of Naxos Records.