Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Irish National Opera Stage Rossini's WILLIAM TELL, For The First Time Since 1877

It's a thrilling epic, and Irish National Opera's new production sees its 11 roles shared between 14 singers.

Irish National Opera Stage Rossini's WILLIAM TELL, For The First Time Since 1877

Rossini's William Tell, famous for the use of part of its spectacular overture as the signature tune of The Lone Ranger TV series, is one of the most demanding operas ever written. It's a thrilling epic, and Irish National Opera's new production sees its 11 roles shared between 14 singers.

Canadian baritone Brett Polegato (singing on Tuesday 8, Wednesday 9, Friday 11 and Sunday 13 November) shares the title role with Irish-resident Hungarian baritone Gyula Nagy (Saturday 12). Mexican tenor Jesús León (Tuesday 8, Friday 11, Sunday 13) shares the role of Arnold Melchtal, son of a Swiss patriarch, with South Korean tenor Konu Kim (Wednesday 9, Saturday 12). The role of Mathilde, sister of the reviled Austrian governor Gessler, is shared between Irish sopranos Máire Flavin (Tuesday 8, Saturday 12, Sunday 13) and Rachel Croash (Wednesday 9, Friday 11). And Irish baritone Owen Gilhooly-Miles (Saturday 12 ) replaces Gyula Nagy (Tuesday 8, Wednesday 9, Friday 11, Sunday 13) as the heroic shepherd Leuchtold on the night when Nagy steps into the title role.

Also in the cast are Irish soprano Amy Ní Fhearraigh (Jemmy), Irish mezzo-soprano Imelda Drumm (Hedwige), Polish bass Lukas Jakobski (doubling the roles of Melchtal senior and Walter Furst), British bass-baritone David Ireland (Gessler), Irish tenors Andrew Gavin (Ruodi) and Patrick Hyland (Rodolphe), and Irish baritone Matthew Mannion (Hunter).

Irish National Opera's artistic director, Fergus Sheil, who conducts the production, says, "I don't know whether I'm foolhardy or a visionary to have taken on such a gargantuan project. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity, and easily the most complex work we've taken on at INO since our foundation in 2018. Appropriately, for a work set in Switzerland, it's a mountainous climb, exhilarating, dizzying, almost overwhelming. As one of William Tell's great advocates, conductor Antonio Pappano, put it, 'there's really something superhuman about this piece'."

Sheil continues, "Like almost everyone, I fell in love with the overture first, the famous Lone Ranger galop, and then the uniquely gorgeous opening for five solo cellos. The opera itself is almost unbelievably rich. The choruses are hugely stirring, the vocal writing is full of high-wire moments . . . basically, Rossini uses every trick in his arsenal, every skill and every technique possible, to deliver the grandest, most glorious, engaging, funny, dramatic and uplifting opera imaginable. And, as a work that celebrates a moment of emerging nationhood, it concludes appropriately in a dazzling spectacle of sunshine."

William Tell, which is being sung in the original French, is INO's first co-production with Switzerland's Nouvel Opéra Fribourg. But it's not the Swiss company's first Irish connection. The director, Julien Chavaz, and costume designer, Severine Besson, worked together on a "colour-obsesessed" production of Irish composer Gerald Barry's The Importance of Being Earnest for them in 2019.

Julien Chavaz says, "I am fascinated by the universal and mythological side of the William Tell story. The story is not just about a remote Swiss community facing Austrian invaders. It is the story of a society, its work values and its communion with nature, a society that suddenly has to face a threat to its model of civilisation. It is about an almost a biblical, ideal vision of humanity. That is why I have approached the opera as mythology, as a fable. I also believe that Rossini translated the relationship with nature in his William Tell in an unparalleled way. As in popular legends, meteorological events are crucial and they mirror the tensions and aspirations of the people. After all, nature is stronger than any human construct."

INO executive director Diego Fasciati says, "Growing up in Switzerland meant frequent exposure to the myth of William Tell (this included participating in vignettes depicting Tell and his son). Rossini's William Tell has special resonance for me, not simply because I happen to be Swiss, but because the intense lyrical beauty of this opera is incredibly potent."

The sets are by Irish Times Irish Theatre Award-winning English designer Jamie Vartan, who returns to INO fresh from his success with Donnacha Dennehy and Enda Walsh's The First Child.

Rossini's William Tell, with a libretto by Etienne de Jouy and Hippolyte-Louis-Florent Bis, assisted by Armand Marrast and Adolphe Crémieux, is based on Friedrich von Schiller's 1804 play Wilhelm Tell. The work is about a freedom fighter in Austrian-occupied Switzerland, with a populace restless in the face of an oppressive Habsburg governor. There's also a scene with the most famous Swiss apple. And there's a love story that crosses national divides. It was Rossini's most ambitious, forward-looking and vocally challenging opera.

The opening night at the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin is on Tuesday 8 November at 7pm, with subsequent performances on the evenings of Wednesday 9, Friday 11 and Saturday 12. The final performances on the afternoon of Sunday 13 at 4pm. Ticket prices range from €15 to €85.

https://cloud.broadwayworld.com/rec/ticketclick.cfm?fromlink=2199670®id=154&articlelink=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.irishnationalopera.ie%2Fwhats-on%2Fcurrent-upcoming-productions%2Fwilliam-tell?utm_source=BWW2022&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=article&utm_content=bottombuybutton1

DATES & VENUES

Tuesday 8 November 2022

Time: 7pm

Tickets: €15, €40, €50, €60

Dublin Gaiety Theatre

Wednesday 9 November 2022

Time: 7pm

Tickets: €15, €40, €50, €60

Dublin Gaiety Theatre

Friday 11 November 2022

Time: 7pm

Tickets: €30, €50, €64, €85

Dublin Gaiety Theatre

Saturday 12 November 2022

Time: 7pm

Tickets: €30, €50, €64, €85

Dublin Gaiety Theatre

Sunday 13 November 2022

Time: 4pm

Tickets: €15, €40, €50, €60

Dublin Gaiety Theatre

https://www.gaietytheatre.ie/events/william-tell/




More Hot Stories For You


The Everyman Presents REGGIE'S GUIDE TO SOCIAL CLIMBING in March 2023The Everyman Presents REGGIE'S GUIDE TO SOCIAL CLIMBING in March 2023
December 1, 2022

Reggie from the Blackrock Road returns to The Everyman with his brand-new show, Reggie's Guide to Social Climbing from Wednesday  8th to Sunday 19th March in 2023.

The Irish Premiere Of A BOLT FROM D'BLUE By David Gilna to be Presented at The Sean O'Casey Theatre in DecemberThe Irish Premiere Of A BOLT FROM D'BLUE By David Gilna to be Presented at The Sean O'Casey Theatre in December
November 29, 2022

Following the success from David Gilna's (My Bedsit Window, The Unsung Hero, One For The Ditch) World Premiere of his new solo play 'A Bolt From D'Blue' the award-winning Irish Playwright will perform The Irish Premiere of 'A Bolt From D'Blue' at The Sean O'Casey Theatre on Thursday 1st December.

COME FROM AWAY to Launch U.K and Ireland Tour in February 2024COME FROM AWAY to Launch U.K and Ireland Tour in February 2024
November 28, 2022

The multi award-winning musical Come From Away, which celebrated its 1000th performance in the West End last night, Monday 28th November, has announced that the production will launch its first ever tour of the U.K and Ireland, opening in Leicester in February 2024.

The Abbey Presents TALES FROM THE HOLYWELL and TARTUFFE in 2023The Abbey Presents TALES FROM THE HOLYWELL and TARTUFFE in 2023
November 22, 2022

A musical motif and a tale of deceit will take over the Abbey stage in early 2023.  Learn more about Tales From the Holywell and Tartuffe here!

THE LONG CHRISTMAS DINNER Returns To The Abbey This WinterTHE LONG CHRISTMAS DINNER Returns To The Abbey This Winter
November 21, 2022

Rehearsals began this morning for The Long Christmas Dinner by Thornton Wilder which runs on the Peacock stage from 10 – 31 December. This classic play is a gift-wrapped seasonal gem, guaranteed to delight and surprise.