New-to-Chicago Production Norma

By Vincenzo Bellini

  • Language - Performed in Italian with projected English translations
  • Running Time - 3 hours 5 minutes including 1 intermission

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. You’ll hear melodies ranging from the stunningly serene “Casta diva” to the frenzy of vocal fireworks that pour forth as Norma’s rage overflows. Don’t miss world-acclaimed soprano Sondra Radvanovsky in this dazzling masterwork!

Upcoming Dates
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This production of Norma was presented at Lyric January 28 – February 24, 2017. View our calendar to see what's currently on stage.

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Norma

by Vincenzo Bellini

Recording by EMI – Callas, Ludwig, Corelli, cond. Serafin. Courtesy Warner Classics.

"Casta diva"
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"Vieni in Roma"
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Norma

by Vincenzo Bellini

Commentary by Roger Pines, Dramaturg
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Norma Synopsis

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.

TIME: 50 BCE 
PLACE: Gaul, during the Roman occupation 

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

Meet The Artists

Sondra Radvanovsky

Norma

Elizabeth DeShong

Adalgisa

Russell Thomas

Pollione

Andrea Silvestrelli

Oroveso

Riccardo Frizza

Conductor

Kevin Newbury

Director

David Korins

Set Designer

Jessica Jahn

Costume Designer

Duane Schuler

Lighting Designer

Michael Black

Chorus Master

Production Sponsors

JULIE AND ROGER BASKES
EARL AND BRENDA SHAPIRO FOUNDATION
ESTATE OF VENRICE R. PALMER
Coproduction by Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Canadian Opera Company, and Gran Teatre del Liceu.

Photo: Cory Weaver