Opening with what is arguably the most exciting of all operatic overtures, Rossini's final opera helped to lay the foundations of the genre of French grand opra that dominated European stages throughout the mid-19th century.
The opera's theme is liberty, as exemplified in the struggle against Austrian occupation led by the Swiss archer and patriot Guillaume Tell: in the opera's most famous scene, Tell shoots an apple from his son's head, a feat that inspires his countrymen to revolt.
Rossini's score is one of his most outstanding, and packed with glorious arias, choruses and ensembles, as those who have heard Antonio Pappano's admired recording - which also features Gerald Finley (Tell), John Osborn (Arnold) and Malin Bystrm (Mathilde) - will know. The exciting young Italian director Damiano Michieletto makes his debut with what promises to be a spectacular and thought-provoking production.
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