Sunday, November 6, 2016

Met - Guillaume Tell - 11/05/16

Composer: Gioachino Rossini 
 Conductor: Fabio Luisi 
 Director: Pierre Audi 
 Guillaume Tell: Gerald Finley 
 Arnold: Bryan Hymel 
Mathilde: Marina Rebeka 
Jemmy: Janai Brugger 
Gesler: John Telyra 
Melcthal: Kwangchul Youn

The Swiss have won! One week and seven hours after the Metropolitan Opera was evacuated during the second intermission of Guillaume Tell because somebody thought it was a good idea to scatter a suspicious powder, which was in fact cremated ashes, in the orchestra pit, I was back in the opera house last night and got to make it to the long-awaited – and happy – ending. Unlike a fellow companion in frustration who just came back for the fourth act, I had decided to treat myself to the whole thing again because, why not?

This second viewing, which did include the fourth act, did not change my original assessment of glorious music and uneven production, but allowed me to happily dwell into some of the most memorable arias, such as Gerald Finley's quietly heart-breaking advice to his son "Sois immobile". Even better, the short final act turned out to be nothing less than the grandly sweeping and divinely inspired denouement that the audience deserved after a four-hour performance that, let's face it, occasionally dragged.
But there was no chance that our minds would wander after the second intermission. The music and voices kept on gorgeously soaring in what was essentially a one-man show for Bryan Hymel, who impeccably nailed "Asile héréditaire" with plenty of emotional power and high-flying notes, with a brilliant guest-starring appearance by the chorus, who got the last word of the evening when magnificently belting out their roaring hymn to "Liberty" while bathed in a bright sunny glow. And then, at last, there was closure.

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