Vincenzo Bellini • Norma
Tragedia lirica in two acts
- 09 August 2010, 19:30
- 14 August 2010, 19:30
Print program (PDF)
Friedrich Haider, Conductor
Edita Gruberova, Norma, druidess, daughter of Oroveso
Joyce DiDonato, Adalgisa, young priestess at the temple of Irminsul
Marcello Giordani, Pollione, Roman proconsul in Gaul
Ferruccio Furlanetto, Oroveso, head of the Druids
Ezgi Kutlu, Clotilde, Norma's confidante
Luciano Botelho, Flavio, friend to Pollione
Concert Association of the Vienna State Opera Chorus
Jörn Hinnerk Andresen, Chorus master
Is not all that we feel there true and great?” the young Richard Wagner asked in a review of Norma (1831), which he did not hesitate to compare to the tragedies of Antiquity. The central figure in Bellini’s opera is a druid priestess: among the Gauls, Norma occupies a position of power, but inwardly, she finds no peace. As the secret lover of Pollione, proconsul of the Roman occupying forces and the father of her two children, she has broken her vows and violated her patriotic duties. However, even more than by her conscience, she is tortured by the fact that Pollione has turned away from her. When Norma learns of Pollione’s liaison with the novice Adalgisa, the conflict escalates.
For their “most perfect tragedy” (Schopenhauer), Bellini and his librettist used a contemporary French drama, but they gave Soumet’s Norma, who resembles the figure of Medea, greater humanity and dignity: thus, she combines pride and vulnerability, passion and tenderness, a thirst for revenge and compassion. Bellini expresses all these facets in his controlled and intensively expressive melodies: invariably inspired by the dramatic and poetic content of the text, song unfolds here with the power of an incantation.