Drawing on the William Tell legend, the opera was Rossini’s last, although he lived for nearly 40 more years. The overture, in four sections and featuring a depiction of a storm as well as a vivacious finale, the “March of the Swiss Soldiers,” is often played.
Charles Malherbe, archivist at the Paris Opéra, discovered the original orchestral score of the opera at a secondhand book seller’s shop, resulting in its being acquired by the Paris Conservatoire.
Words of Wisdom
William tell, William tell,
Take your arrow, grip it well,
There’s the apple– – aim for the middle– –
Oh well … you just missed by a little.