Musical Caricatures in the RIPM Archives No. 1
Rossini’s French grand opera Guillaume Tell was performed for the first time on 3 August 1829 at the Paris Opera. Its theme is based on a fourteenth-century legend at the time when Gessler, an Austrian tyrant, reigned over the canton of Uri, a region in Switzerland. A hat was placed at the top of a pole before which villagers were obliged to bow. Guillaume Tell refused to do so and as punishment was forced, with his crossbow, to shoot off an apple placed atop his son’s head.
Sometimes he missed …