An opera to make hearts swoon
The Met: Live in HD
When Norma, that Druid priestess chooses to walk into her death by fire for her sins, she stepped into opera immortality, only to be resurrected every decade when a cast of singers converge who can give divine deliverance of Bellini’s blessed opera.
That day is now — with the Met’s production of Norma, with Sondra Radvanovsky in the lead role. Her protege priestess-in-training and rival in love is Joyce DiDonato in her first undertaking of the role of Adalgisa.
The pairing of the two for the beloved soprano duets, is wrought with the conflicting emotions of two very good women entangled in relationships with one forbidden lover. (Tenor Joseph Calleja is the Roman proconsul, Pollione)
And if it seems too unbelievable that these good women are so enthralled with the deity while fighting over a man, their singing together has been proclaimed divine in this production where Conductor Carlo Rizzi and producer Sir David McVicar wrap the beauty of Bellini’s music into a primitive Druid forest of nature and ancient ritual.
History tells of the Romans conquering tribal people and Rome was to eventually fall from invaders from the north.
Fast forward update— it was really opera that conquered Italy, the Roman homeland, in the 19th century.
It was claimed that 'opera mania' had for a century 'absorbed all the artistic energies of the nation’ and there were no symphonies and plays because 'music was opera, drama was opera', with even painters forsaking canvas to create the sacred groves of Norma. Theaters were built for huge audiences, even if there were not enough musicians to perform. Etc. (from The Pursuit of Italy by David Gilmore).
You guessed it. Norma was a leader of the pack of operas from the glorious three: Rossini, Donizetti and Bellini.
Wagner praised Bellini’s opera in the19th century. Callas and Sutherland took the role to the heights into the 20th. Now Norma marches into the 21st century, on the big screen and into our swooning hearts.
And the best news—
The Met: Live in HD has expanded its repeat showings.
Upcoming is Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte
Check it out at