William Tell is an opera in four acts by Gioachino Rossini based on Friedrich Schiller's play William Tell, which drew on the William Tell legend. This opera was Rossini's last, even though the composer lived for nearly forty more years.
It was first performed by the Paris Opéra at the Salle Le Peletier on 3 August 1829, but within three performances cuts were being made and after a year only three acts were performed. The opera's length, roughly four hours of music, and casting requirements, such as the high range required for the tenor part, have contributed to the difficulty of producing the work. When performed, the opera is often cut. Performances have been given in both French and Italian. This 1980 recording stars Luciano Pavarotti, Sherill Milnes and Mirella Freni. Ricardo Chailly conducts.