TRAGEDIA LIRICA IN TWO ACTS
LIBRETTO BY FELICE ROMANI BASED ON NORMA OU L’INFANTICIDE BY ALEXANDRE SOUMET
FIRST PERFORMED ON 26 DECEMBER 1831 AT TEATRO ALLA SCALA OF MILANO
— OPERA IN CONCERT VERSION
ELIZABETH ET VINCENT MEYER SUPPORT THE SERIES OF OPERAS IN CONCERT VERSION
As Michelangelo granted utmost importance to the human body, so Bellini granted utmost importance to the voice in this opera: this 'naked' melodrama.
Alberto Savinio, in an article dated 14 December 1940
Casta diva: the title role, with its famous prayer, has done more than any other to foster the diva myth, from vengeful vehemence to divine cantilena. Norma, high priestess of the Gauls, has had two children by her secret lover, a Roman officer; when she discovers his betrayal, she turns into a fury as threatening as Medea and sacrifices herself on the expiatory pyre. The most famous bel canto aria, which is performed for the first time at the Festival, is a masterpiece of perfection in the history of opera – its floating melodic lines and relentless scansions are fiery and tragic beyond compare. Riccardo Minasi uses his own critical edition to conduct the Resonanz Ensemble, known for its historically informed interpretations; Michael Spyres and Amina Edris stand alongside Karine Deshayes, at the height of her art, who is simultaneously taking on the role and making her Festival debut.