William Tell in pictures

12 Jul 2018

Take a peek at our striking new production of William Tell and discover some interesting facts about how we brought our biggest production ever to the stage.

Armando Noguera as William Tell. Photo: Jeff Busby

William Tell is a sharp-shooting hero on a quest for freedom. Our William Tell is charismatic baritone Armando Noguera, an expert in Rossini repertoire, making his role debut. He is one of 11 principals and part of our biggest international contingent yet.

Carlos E. Bárcenas as Arnold and Armando Noguera as William Tell. Photo: Jeff Busby

In this action-packed epic, a peaceful rural community unites to rise up against a technologically superior occupying force. Their strong bonds of family and community gives them the strength to fight for freedom. This hope for a better world and the possibility of living in harmony continue to resonate in our modern world.

Carlos E. Bárcenas as Arnold and Gisela Stille as Mathilde. Photo: Jeff Busby

In William Tell there is not only rebellion and bloodshed, but also love. Arnold is torn between his patriotic duty and his love for Mathilde. While their love faces great challenges and at times seems impossible, William Tell proves that love can survive war. 

Mathilde wears three different costumes throughout the production. Each one took more than a week to make.

Paolo Pecchioli as Gesler, Armando Noguera as William Tell and Alexandra Flood as Jemmy. Photo: Jeff Busby

William Tell's adversary is Gesler, the tyrannical leader of the occupying forces. When William Tell refuses to pay homage to golden bust of Gesler, he is forced to shoot an apple off his son’s head. Watch out for some theatrical magic.

Armando Noguera as William Tell with members of the Chorus. Photo: Jeff Busby

It has taken 13 costume makers weeks to create the 48 Swiss costumes and 16 soldier costumes for the 48-strong chorus. The chorus includes students of Classical Voice from Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, The University of Melbourne.

Teddy Tahu Rhodes as Melcthal, Jerzy Kozlowski as Leuthold and Liane Keegan as Hedwige

There will be bloodshed, lives will be lost from both sides and the community will be changed forever. Our production uses three types of fake blood depending on where the blood is coming from and what costume is worn.

Armando Noguera as William Tell and Alexandra Flood as Jemmy. Photo: Jeff Busby

Amidst the public struggle for liberty are the family dramas of father and son: Meltchtal and Arnold, William and Jemmy; both involving the absolute of death. The role Tell's son Jemmy is a 'trouser' role sung by a soprano, as was the tradition at the time Rossini wrote his opera.

Armando Noguera as William Tell, Alexandra Flood as Jemmy, Gisela Stille as Mathilde and Paolo Pecchioli as Gesler. Photo: Jeff Busby

The beautiful gold braiding on Gesler and Mathilde's costumes was laboriously hand-stitched. In addition to four dressers, our backstage crew includes four stage managers, four mechanists and one armourer.

Victorian Opera's production of William Tell. Photo: Jeff Busby

The opera ends with glorious ode to freedom and the beginning of a new life.

By Beata Bowes