The Royal Opera’s Music Director Sir Antonio Pappano, star of the BBC TV series Opera Italia, has been making waves all over Europe with his Italian musical family – the Orchestra and Chorus of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia – and their latest EMI offering, a sensational live recording of Rossini’s rarely performed operatic swansong William Tell, is certain to achieve landmark status.
This extraordinary opera broke all kinds of new ground for Rossini and in this exclusive audio podcast Pappano talks to Edward Seckerson about its many highlights and surprises, its astonishingly demanding vocal writing, its epic sense of space and place. Pappano talks, too, about what makes this orchestra and chorus so distinctive and so special. Their heady account of Rossini’s Stabat Mater has such a very particular colour and is sure to run off with a clutch of international awards; but equally arresting is their work in repertoire not normally associated with the Italians – like Rachmaninov’s Second Symphony.
So click here for a taster of all these recordings. William Tell will feature in its entirety on the second night of the BBC Proms season 2011 when the specter of the Lone Ranger could be buried forever.