Whether or not Rossini intended this to be his last opera, it brings together elements of his art he had successfully developed over the previous 17 years. It also enabled Rossini to exploit further an underlying interest in the related genres of folk music, pastoral, and the picturesque. You do not currently have access to this article. Please login to access the full content. Printed from Grove Music Online. Grove is a registered trademark.
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DM's opera site. Composers Operas Links Forum About. Quel jour serein, etc. Je quitte le rivage ; Lisbeth, sois du voyage ; Ah! Quel fardeau que la vie! Pour nous plus de patrie! Peasants are decorating with leafy boughs three small chalets destined for three newly-wedded couples; others are busy at different kinds of field labour.
Jemmy is practising with his bow and arrows; William Tell, deep in thought and leaning on his spade, stands apart. Hedwige, seated by her house, is weaving a basket and glancing alternately at her son and her husband. Let us celebrate it in our concerts; let the echoes from this shore lift our songs into the air! Let the echoes, etc. Through our labours, let us do homage to the creator of the universe.
What a serene day, etc. I am leaving the shore; Lisbeth, sail with me; ah, come! The cloudless sky promises us a fine day, etc. TELL aside In his elation he extols his pleasures, his mistress; he is not tormented by the weariness of spirit that afflicts me.
How burdensome is life! We no longer have a fatherland! He sings, and Helvetia mourns her lost freedom. On entend les ranz des vaches. Tout le village l'accueille avec enthousiasme et se presse joyeusement autour de lui. And you, lonely lake, witness of a sweet mystery, do not tell the land the secret of love! If he directed his course towards the dreaded reef, a death-song to be sure would follow the songs of love! TELL aside How burdensome is life! He sings, and Helvetia laments its last day!
He sings, and Helvetia, etc. The ranz des vaches is heard in the distance. This rustic festival, unbeknown to the master's eye, will let us acknowledge the sweet land of our birth. Old Melchthal, leaning on his son Arnold, comes down the hill followed by his countrymen.
All the village gather happily and enthusiastically around him. Hedwige approaches Melchthal and asks him to bless the union of the young couples. TELL It is the sacred privilege of age and the virtues, and a very sweet portent of the favours of Heaven.
All of you celebrate on this glorious day work, marriage and love Let us too celebrate, by turns, work, marriage and love! Aux bois, aux vallons! Par nos chants, etc. La foule se disperse. Yes, the echo from these hills, etc. Let us celebrate through our games marriage and its bonds, etc. By the roaring torrents let the horns answer each other, etc. By the roaring torrents let the horns answer each other, through our songs and our games let us celebrate the sweet bonds of the loving shepherds, etc.
Through our songs, etc. The crowd departs. It is there that my ancestors lived in peace, that I escape from the tyrants, that I conceal from their eyes the happiness of being a husband, the happiness of being a father. He embraces his son. You hear him, o my son, it is the supreme blessing. Will you always disappoint the wish of my old age? The shepherds' festival on this glad day through a triple bond is going to consecrate the marriage vow, and it is not yours?
All leave except Arnold. Mais quel bruit? Des tyrans qu'a vomis l'Allemagne Le cor sonne sur la montagne. Quel transport t'agite? TELL Pourquoi trembles-tu? You, whose brow aspires to the diadem, O Mathilde, I love you! I love you, and I betray duty and honour, my father and my country! Against the deadly avalanche my strength served to shield you: I saved you, you, the daughter of Kings, you whom a perfidious power destines to give us laws! Drunk with a mad hope, my insane youth has wasted its blood for ungrateful masters: to have known under them the glory of battle, that is my shame!
But then, my tears have wiped it out: Let us not restore it through a fatal love. Hunting horns are heard. But what's this noise? The horn of the tyrants spewed out by Germany sounds on the mountain. Gessler is there; Mathilde accompanies him; I must see her again, hear her voice again; Let us at the same time be happy and guilty! He is about to leave when he comes face to face with William Tell, who is coming out of his house. TELL Where are you going?
What's troubling you so? The approach of a friend doesn't stop you? TELL Why are you trembling? Il faut donc vaincre ma flamme? Il rougit de son erreur, En servant la tyrannie, etc. TELL aside Out of luck? He's hiding a secret from me. TELL To restore to your heart strength and virtue TELL aside I can read into his heart To you my heart sacrifices both my love and my happiness!
If by serving tyranny he was a traitor to his country, at least his remorse expiates a moment of dishonour. I have been able to read into his heart He reddens at his error, if by serving tyranny, etc. TELL Tout pouvoir injuste est fragile. TELL Qu'importe!
TELL Je ne sais trop ce que c'est que la gloire, Mais je connais le poids des fers, Mais je connais le poids des fers.
TELL Dans ce lieu. TELL La tombe. TELL All unjust power is weak. TELL The dangers; for us there is only one, for them there are a thousand. TELL What of it! TELL I'm none too sure what glory is TELL It is my vow. TELL Here. TELL The grave. TELL Dieu! Il faut donc vaincre ma flamme! O ma patrie! Arnold va pour partir. TELL Demeure! TELL Melchthal! Pour moi c'est un outrage. Je vais sur son passage Braver l'insolent oppresseur.
TELL God! So I must subdue my passion!
Guillaume Tell. Libretto. English & Italian
The opera was Rossini's last, although he lived for nearly 40 more years. Fabio Luisi said that Rossini planned for William Tell to be his last opera even as he composed it. Performances have been given in both French and Italian. Political concerns have also contributed to the varying fortunes of the work. In Italy, because the work glorified a revolutionary figure against authority, the opera encountered difficulties with the Italian censors, and the number of productions in Italy was limited. The Teatro San Carlo produced the opera in , but then did not give another production for around 50 years.