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Subject: Re: Cuts in the Met's new "Guillaume Tell"
From: Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 20 Oct 2016 00:15:20 -0400
Content-Type:text/plain
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Back a few years ago, the cut sheets for all the Met productions were accessible online. 
Then at some point the web page was either changed or taken down. Which is too bad, 
because it was great to be able to see all those specifics about cuts, changes, editions of 
the score, etc. 


On Thu, 20 Oct 2016 00:02:32 -0400, Max D. Winter <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>"Guillaume Tell" was disfigured by extensive cuts very early in its performance history.  
So 
>common was butchering the score at the Paris Opera that when Rossini was told years 
later 
>that, in his honor, the Opera was presenting Act II of "Tell," Rossini responded, 
sarcastically, 
>"Act II?  You mean the WHOLE THING?"      
>
>So I was glad, in listening to the Met's new "Tell" last night, that the cuts were so few, 
and 
>those that there were, were mostly well-chosen.
>
>I was following with the libretto to the (complete) EMI recording under Gardelli, and not 
the 
>score, but for the record the cuts I noted were as follows:
>
>Act I
>
>The recitative before the dances, from Melcthal's "Des antiques vertus" up to the chorus, 
>"Hymenee, ta journee fortunee"
>
>The "Pas des Six" ballet (but not the ballet of the archers during the archery contest)
>
>(Not a cut, but Melcthal's blessing of the couples was moved to later in the scene.)  
>
>Act II
>
>No cuts.
>
>Act III
>
>Sc. 2 - Some cuts (about 4 minutes) in the dances.
>
>Act IV
>
>Sc. 2 - The trio for Mathilde, Hedwige and Jemmy, and the following recitative and prayer 
>for the women.  
>
>Because I was not following with a score I cannot swear that there were no snips in 
>choruses, ensembles, and orchestral passages, but I did not notice any.  My impression 
was 
>that other than the above-listed cuts, the opera was presented intact.  Good for Luisi and 
>the Met; we have all benefitted from hearing so much of the music.
>
>Perhaps there was no way to avoid this problem, but running Acts II and III together 
made 
>for a Gotterdammerung-like long central act (nearly 2 hours).  (Pity those audience 
>members with small bladders!)  And given how short (barely 20 minutes) Act IV was, it 
>made for a rather lopsided evening.  In light of how short Act IV was, cutting the lovely 
>canon trio for the three women was a pity.  If total running time was an issue, I think it 
>would have been better if the Met instead had cut more of the ballet music in Act III and 
>preserved the Act IV trio and prayer.
>
>One more thing regarding the high tessitura of the role of Arnold.  James Joyce (yes, the 
>"Ulysses" James Joyce) was an admirer of Irish tenor John O'Sullivan.  When O'Sullivan 
>sang Arnold, Joyce went through the vocal score and calculated that Sullivan had sung 
456 
>Gs, 93 A flats, 54 B flats, 15 Bs, 19 Cs, and 2 C sharps.  (No word on how many As.)  
Yikes.
>
>MDW
>
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