NEW YORK CITY: Guglielmo Tell
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In Review > Concerts and Recitals

Guglielmo Tell

Teatro Regio di Torino | Carnegie Hall

In Review Torino Guillaume Tell hdl 315
Noseda paces Meade as Mathilde in the Regio di Torino’s concert Guglielmo Tell at Carnegie Hall
© Hiroyuki Ito 2015

Anticipation ran high on December 7 for the Teatro Regio di Torino’s Sunday-afternoon concert performance of Rossini’s Guglielmo Tell at Carnegie Hall. It was to have been a kind of farewell for conductor Gianandrea Noseda, who, some months before the event, had announced his intention to sever his ties with the company due to a dispute with management. But the problems were resolved, and it was announced just five days before the concert that Noseda would not, after all, be leaving his post as music director, making the afternoon a source of celebration for his many New York fans. 

They were not disappointed. Noseda paced a clean, muscular reading of Rossini’s stirring historical drama that, for all its force, rarely overpowered the smaller-voiced singers in the cast. His interpretation showed how prescient Rossini’s score was: though written in 1829, this opera sounds light-years ahead of Rossini’s contemporaries Bellini and Donizetti. Noseda’s interpretation of the sprawling French epic was lapidary in concept and fiery in execution. It made one wish Rossini had not settled for early retirement, as Tell pointed the way toward a new style and a different kind of greatness. 

This is an enormously difficult work to cast, one that demands large voices that can move quickly and flexibly against dramatic orchestral and choral statements. Angela Meade, as Matilde, filled these requirements handily, in the fashion of a true soprano drammatica d’agilità, with ample reserves of steely presence, rich tone and thrilling, firmly controlled fioriture. It was a fine match of singer to role. Her Arnoldo was John Osborn, whose reedy tenor unfortunately did not blend well with her plush sound. Left to his own devices in the first scene of Act IV, Osborn lacked pleasing tone, except when singing mezza-voce. His cavatina in that scene earned him deserved applause; he sang it with elegance and had no trouble with the high notes. But the cabaletta was less satisfying. Blame Rossini: he pushed the writing into a punishing tessitura that few tenors seem able to transform into a thing of beauty. 

In the title role, Italian baritone Luca Salsi seemed small-scaled and not particularly heroic. He lacked a distinctive timbre and was short on stage presence. Two bassos stood out in supporting roles: Marco Spotti unleashed cavernous tones as Gualtiero, and Fabrizio Beggi made a brief but memorable contribution as Arnoldo’s father, Melchtal. The brief tenor role of the fisherman Ruodi was meltingly sung by Mikeldi Atxalandabaso, who might have made a fine Arnoldo himself.

Anna Maria Chiuri uttered fine, dark dramatic-mezzo sounds as Tell’s wife, Edwige. As Tell’s son, Jemmy, soprano Marina Bucciarelli piped sweetly and very easily made herself heard over massed orchestra, chorus and soloists in the ensembles. 

The Teatro Regio chorus, seventy members strong, had plenty to sing in this populist work, and they shone under the hand of the Regio’s chorus master, Claudio Fenoglio. spacer 


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