Bellini’s bel canto magnum opus Norma had its debut at La Scala, Milan, on Boxing Day 1831. After a muffled introductory reaction the drama immediately became well known, and is presently a pillar of the repertory.
Norma is maybe most acclaimed as a vehicle for the lead soprano, and without a doubt Bellini gives a few astounding vocal firecrackers to his title character – most broadly ‘Casta diva’, Norma’s Act I psalm to the modest moon, and Act II’s ‘Dormono entrambi’, as she thinks about the incomprehensible demonstration of murdering her youngsters.
However, the show’s emotional strength rests in its amazing gatherings, most strikingly in Norma’s two part harmonies with Pollione and Adalgisa, the Act I triplet ‘Vanne, sì: mi lascia, indegno’ and the rankling Act II finale.
This new creation of Norma is The Royal Opera’s most memorable in almost thirty years. Coordinating is Àlex Ollé, of the Catalan aggregate La Fura dels Baus, rejoined with the imaginative group behind his acclaimed creation of Oedipe.
They give Norma a contemporary setting against a scenery of an awful affable conflict, and spotlight on the drama’s investigation of the contention between a person’s own longings and those of her general public – and of religion as a power for solidarity and for obliteration.
Select a cinema
- Norma – Royal Opera Review