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Christie Grimstad, April 2012

Guglielmo Tell is a remarkable achievement, and this chapter from Opus Arte’s La Scala Collection is a find worth having.

All principals execute exceptional skill, but it’s to the credit of conductor Riccardo Muti for pulling together all the operatic components. The charismatic force of Mr. Muti’s no-nonsense, business-like approach permeates La Scala’s Orchestra, Chorus and Corps de Ballet with striking results.

Amelia Felle…tackles some of the highest notes in the score with tremendous ease and unflinching presence…Cheryl Studer commands a dignified presence and handles the stringent demands of Matilde with powerful fluency. Teamed with Chris Merritt’s shining vocal display in the role of Arnoldo, their Act II duet (“Tutto apprendi o sventurato”) is sublime.

Guglielmo Tell has its moments of languor including the drawn out patriotic choral section ending Act II, yet Act I brackets marvelous, energetic scoring. The “Calvary Charge” finale…is one of the crowning moments of the opera.

…the La Scala Corps de Ballet displays magical aesthetics, and the pairing of solo ballerinas, Carla Fracci and Alessandro Molin, demonstrates agility and grace in their pas de deux and solo segmentations.

A subdued color pallet surrounds Vera Marzot’s authentic costuming that pleases and adds potent value to the production. Formal Swiss attire is replicated in the marriage procession from Act I and the Hapsburg soldiers’ breastplates and helmets are outstanding. Creating the right mood to intensify Rossini’s music is masterfully controlled through Vannio Vanni’s lighting.

Immeasurable mightiness, spectacular grandeur, classic orchestration, resounding singing, this Guglielmo Tell deserves four stars. © 2012 Read complete review

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