Guillaume Tell (William Tell) is an opéra comique, described as a drame mise en musique, in three acts by André Grétry, The French text was by Michel-Jean Sedaine based on a play of the same name by Antoine-Marin Lemierre.
It was first performed by the Comédie-Italienne at the first Salle Favart in Paris on 9 April 1791 and was revived on 24 May 1828 at the Salle Feydeau in a version much revised by Henri Montan Berton with music borrowed from other works of Grétry, including Amphitryon, Céphale et Procris, Aucassin et Nicolette, Callias, and Élisca, and a new libretto by Jean-Baptiste Pélissier. Grétry's Guillaume Tell disappeared from the repertoire as Rossini's 1829 opera on the same subject gained preference.
|Role||Voice type||Premiere Cast, 9 April 1791|
(Conductor: - )
|Guillaume Tell||tenor||Philippe Cauvy, 'Philippe'|
|Marie, Guillaume Tell's daughter||soprano||Rose Renaud|
|Melktal, the son||tenor||Elvion|
|Melktal, the father||baritone||Pierre-Marie Narbonne|
|An old man||Favard|
|Traveller's little girl||Chénard|
|Chorus: Soldiers, village boys and girls, people|
The opera is set in 13th-century Switzerland. Like Rossini's later work of the same name it portrays the heroic struggle of the liberty-aspiring Swiss patriots led by Tell against the evil and oppressive Austrians under Guesler, the local governor.