(Rossini: Guillaume Tell). Bass. Tyrannical Austrian Governor of the Swiss cantons of Schwitz and Uri. Brother of Princess Mathilde, with whom the Swiss Arnold is in love. After Tell saves a shepherd fleeing from Austrian troops, Gessler challenges Tell to save his life by shooting at an apple perched on the head of his own son. Created (1829) by Alexandre Prévot (or Prévost), whose son created Leuthold.