Conductor: Fabrizio Maria Carminati
Tragedia lirica in two acts. Libretto by Felice Romani after Norma ou L’infanticide by Alexandre Soumet
Music by Vincenzo Bellini
Production Federico Tiezzi
Revival director Oscar Cecchi
Set designer Pier Paolo Bisleri and Mario Schifano
Costume designer Giovanna Buzzi
A coproduction by
FONDAZIONE TEATRO LIRICO "GIUSEPPE VERDI DI TRIESTE"
FONDAZIONE TEATRO COMUNALE DI BOLOGNA
FONDAZIONE LIRICO SINFONICA PETRUZZELLI E TEATRI DI BARI
Orchestra and choir by Fondazione Teatro Lirico “Giuseppe Verdi di Trieste”
Characters and performers
|Pollione (tenore)||Sergio Escobar (29, 31/I - 4, 6/II)|
|proconsole di Roma nelle Gallie||Rubens Pelizzari (30/I - 2/II)|
|Norma (soprano)||Marina Rebeka (29, 31/I - 4, 6/II)|
|druidessa, figlia di Oroveso||Saioa Hernàndez (30/I - 2/II)|
|Adalgisa (soprano)||Anna Goryachova (29, 31/I - 4, 6/II)|
|giovane ministra del tempo d’Irminsul||Nidia Palacios (30/I - 2/II)|
|Oroveso (basso)||Andrea Comelli|
|capo dei Druidi|
|Clotilde (soprano)||Hanna Yevtiekhova|
|confidente di Norma||Namiko Kishi|
|Flavio (tenore)||Motoharu Takei|
|amico di Pollione|
|Due fanciulli, figli di Norma e Pollione|
|Druidi, Bardi, Eubagi, Sacerdotesse, Guerrieri e Soldati Galli|
|La scena è nelle Gallie, nella foresta sacra e nel tempio di Irminsul|
Running time: about 3 hours
act 1: about 90' / break: about 20' / act 2: about 70'
A procession of Gauls and Druids is making for the forest to the altar of lrminsul. The High Priest Oroveso announces the arrival of his daughter Norma, Druid and clairvoyant, who’s going to carry out the sacred rite of picking the mistletoe and paying homage to the lunar deity. Headed by Oroveso, the Gauls strike up a choir in which they express their will to set free from the Roman yoke. Then they all depart and there arrives the Roman proconsul Pollione, together with his friend Flavio.
Pollione, who’s having a secret love affair with Norma and had two children from her, confesses to his friend that now he is in love with the young Adalgisa, also a priestess in the temple of Irminsul. But he deeply fears Norma’s rage, even because of a premonitory dream in which Adalgisa dies struck by a lighting sent by the enraged Norma. Fearing of being discovered, now the two friends depart, as Pollione reaffirms his passionate love for Adalgisa.
Norma arrives, announced by a choir, and reproaches the Gauls for their bellicose intentions against the Romans: since she is a clairvoyant, she’s the only one able to set the right moment to rise against the Romans, and the deities have not announced that time yet. Then, after picking the sacred mistletoe, she sings a song to the moon. After the prayer, she announces the end of the rite and tells her people that she will call them together at the temple when the deity will proclaim the time of rebellion against the Romans.
As the Gauls invoke the day of revenge, Norma thinks about her beloved Pollione. Then they all depart but Adalgisa, soon reached by the proconsul, who asks her to follow him in Rome and to give up her cruel god. At first Adalgisa is doubtful, but in the end she promises Pollione to elope with him the next day.
Norma confides to Clotilde the double love she feels for her children: on one side, she deeply loves them, on the other side, in a dark way, she rejects them. Then she tells her friend that Pollione is going to leave Gaul and she fears that the proconsul is going to leave her and his children, too.
Adalgisa arrives and confides to Norma her passion, opposite to her priestly vows, but not revealing her lover’s name. Then she tells Norma about the fatal meeting at the temple. Listening to the young girl’s story, Norma lives again the beginning of her love for Pollione. Moved by the heat of the story, Norma sets Adalgisa free from the sacred vows and invites her to join her lover. Suddenly Pollione arrives and Norma realizes that he’s Adalgisa’s lover. Norma, enraged, announces her desire of revenge and warns Adalgisa against Pollione’s treacherous nature.
The young priestess, shocked by the revelation of the relationship between the proconsul and Norma, reproaches him for having betrayed her. Pollione tries to convince Adalgisa to follow him, but she refuses. The tolling of the “sacred bronzes” and the Druids’ choir draw Norma’s attention to the rite.
While Pollione leaves in a rage, Adalgisa assures Norma that she’ll renounce her feelings and make any effort to make Pollione come back to her and the children.
In the night, Norma enters waving a knife, ready to kill for revenge the children she had with Pollione. But suddenly, moved to pity, she gives up her purpose and asks Clotilde to call Adalgisa. Norma commits to Adalgisa her children, begging her to take them to the Roman camp, since she’s decided to die. Adalgisa tries to convince Norma to give up her purpose and to make peace with Pollione for the children’s sake, assuring that she’ll definitely leave the proconsul. Norma accepts and, moved and grateful, tells Adalgisa that she’ll be always her friend.
Oroveso announces to the Gaul warriors that Pollione is going to leave their land, but he’ll be replaced by another proconsul. Dejected, he admits that, despite this event, the clairvoyant Norma has not yet given the response about the eventual revolt against the Romans. So, they’d better to wait for the right time to rise.
Norma confides to Clotilde that she hopes Pollione to come to her repentant; but Clotilde tells her friend that, even though Adalgisa, after the meeting with the proconsul, has gone to the temple to regain her priestly vows, Pollione is ready to kidnap her. Upset and mad with anger, Norma calls Druids and soldiers to the temple and announces them that the time for war has come. Oroveso reminds her that the custom calls for a human sacrifice in order to propitiate the deities before the revolt against the Romans and asks her who’s the chosen victim. Suddenly Clotilde comes in and announces that Pollione, found in the Virgins’ cloister, has been arrested. The proconsul is led before Norma and, at first, it seems that she wishes to kill him herself but then, moved to pity, on the pretext that she must question the prisoner about the name of the guilty priestess, she sends all those present away and is left alone with Pollione.
During an excited talk, she orders him to immediately leave Adalgisa in exchange for his life. At first Pollione refuses but then, under Norma’s menace of killing the children and burning Adalgisa, he accepts her conditions. Norma calls back Druids and soldiers and tells them that she’s come to know the name of the perjured priestess. But, among general surprise and dismay, she points at herself and not at Adalgisa as the guilty priestess and orders to prepare the stake: she’s going to die together with Pollione. Then, she asks Oroveso to take care of her children, who can’t be the victims of her fatal mistake. Norma sets out for the stake and Pollione, understanding her moral generosity and realizing that he’s still in love with her, follows Norma towards the eternal bound of joined death.