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Storms of Applause after Norma Premiere

18 MAY 2013

published in: Opera, Whitsun

Norma 2013: Rebeca Olvera, Cecilia Bartoli (Photo: Hans Jörg Michel)

Vincenzo Bellini’s Norma staged by Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier, conducted by Giovanni Antonini with Cecilia Bartoli in the title role: all this and more made the audience’s hearts beat quicker at yesterday’s Norma premiere! The guests thanked the artists and team with extensive applause between scenes and several minutes of curtain calls.
Although Norma is a very well-known opera, reactions to it have often been highly ambiguous. This year marks its first scenic production at the Salzburg Festival. “I am proud and grateful that here in Salzburg we have a wonderful team and the opportunity to present a new vision of Bellini’s Norma. Its unusual sound, based on a critical new edition of the score and an orchestra playing on historic instruments, allows the work to appear in a completely new light,” Cecilia Bartoli said before yesterday’s premiere. Thus, the production at the Salzburg Whitsun Festival uses an oboe from the romantic period, a natural horn and a wooden flute, just as its composer Vincenzo Bellini envisioned it. Cecilia Bartoli as Norma, Rebeca Olvera as Adalgisa, John Osborn in the role of Pollione, Michele Pertusi as Oroveso and Liliana Nikiteanu as Norma’s confidante and Reinaldo Macias as Pollione’s friend gave the audience a touching evening, together with the Orchestra La Scintilla and the Coro della Radiotelevisione Svizzera. As Cecilia Bartoli said, “The huge success of yesterday’s premiere showed us all that we are on the right path. I hope you will follow us with equal enjoyment on our journey of discovery running through the other events of the 2013 Salzburg Whitsun Festival, all dedicated to the theme Opfer – Victim/Sacrifice!" 
Bellini’s Norma will be performed one more time as part of the Whitsun Festival, on May 19, 2013. There are very few tickets still available. Five further performances have been scheduled for the Summer Festival, but these have already sold out completely. We wish all the lucky ticket holders a wonderful evening!