Listen to Norma

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If you’re drawn to vocal acrobatics, Bellini’s Druid priestess Norma will thrill and astonish you. The absolute pinnacle for any prima donna with the technical prowess, sumptuous voice, and dramatic fire to master its perilous challenges, Norma stands as a crowning jewel of the bel canto repertoire. This timeless story of love betrayed runs the gamut of emotions from loyalty and passion to jealousy, revenge, and redemption. The melodies in this opera range from the stunningly serene “Casta diva” to the frenzy of vocal fireworks that pour forth as Norma’s rage overflows. World-acclaimed soprano Sondra Radvanovsky stuns in this dazzling masterwork.

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In ancient Gaul, the Druids have been invaded by the forces of Rome.  Despite her hatred for Rome, the Druid high priestess Norma breaks her vows by falling in love with Pollione, the Roman proconsul, and bearing him two children. He abandons Norma in favor of a young priestess, Adalgisa. The guilt-ridden girl confides in Norma, who is sympathetic until she learns that it is Pollione whom Adalgisa loves. Norma castigates her lover for his betrayal. Out of revenge, she plans to kill their children, but cannot bring herself to do it. Adalgisa attempts to persuade Pollione to return to Norma, but he refuses. He tries to abduct Adalgisa, but the Druids capture him and bring him to Norma for punishment. When she confesses to the Druids that she has broken her vows and must die, Pollione understands her nobility of heart and chooses to die with her.

PLACE: Gaul, during the Roman occupation 

Meet the artists

** Ryan Opera Center alumna

Program book

Go inside this production of Norma with engaging articles, notes from the director, a complete plot synopsis, artist bios, and more.

View Digital Program Book

Lyric Audio Streaming is made possible through a generous gift from

Robert F. Finke
in Memory of Carol Keenan

New Lyric Opera coproduction of Bellini’s Norma generously made possible by

Julie and Roger Baskes

Earl and Brenda Shapiro Foundation

Estate of Venrice R. Palmer

Coproduction with San Francisco Opera, Canadian Opera Company, and Gran Teatre del Liceu.

Photos: Lyric Opera of Chicago, Cory Weaver