Saturday, October 11, 2014

Guglielmo Tell (Teatro alla Scala, 1987)

This production of Rossini's opera William Tell was performed in Milan in 1987 with the La Scala Orchestra conducted by Riccardo Muti.  The lead role was sung by Giorgio Zancanaro.

I'm not crazy about "modern" or "post-modern" staging of opera.  This wasn't too bad, though.  The opera is set in thirteenth century Switzerland but this staging has the characters wearing costumes from the early 19th century.  There were three giant screens hung over the stage which displayed mountains or water or whatever the scene was.  The giant screens weren't too bad, but I never figured out what the giant choir stall stuck in the middle of the stage was supposed to be about.

The music was superb and the singing and acting were great.  It would have been much better, though, with a traditional staging with something approximating period costumes.

Of course, this opera is about the famous legend of the Swiss hero William Tell who was forced by the Austrian conquerors of Switzerland to shoot an apple off of his son's head who then leads the revolt of the Swiss against the Austrians.  All around it's a good show.

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