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Vincenzo Bellini and his opera “Norma”
The lyrical tragedy in two acts, the result of the collaboration between Bellini and the librettist Felice Romani.
The plot of “Norma” develops in ancient Gaul during the Roman occupation. The narrative revolves around the character of Pollione, a Roman officer who, after abandoning the Gallic priestess Norma and their children, falls in love with another priestess, Adalgisa. The discovery of this betrayal brings Norma to the brink of a desperate act: the killing of her own children, an act from which she ultimately retreats due to her unquenchable maternal love. Adalgisa's unsuccessful attempt to reconcile Pollione with Norma culminates in Norma's incitement of war between the Gauls and the Romans, an event that precipitates Pollione's capture and death sentence.
The work's strength lies in the masterful use of extended and deeply expressive melodies, exemplified in the aria “Casta Diva”, one of the most famous in the bel canto soprano repertoire. The duets “In mia man” and “Qual cor tradisti”, for soprano and tenor, also stand out for their sober emotion, raising the work to an unprecedented level of expressiveness.
The structure of the opera, particularly its final act, represents a pinnacle in dramatic singing, combining lyrical melody with intense emotional narrative. Despite criticism regarding the plausibility of the plot, “Norma” remains a superlative example of Bellini's ability to blend music with dramatic theater, achieving a balance between emotional expression and compositional technique.

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Vincenzo Bellini, born in 1801 in Sicily, emerges in the history of music as a prominent figure of Italian romanticism. His opera “Norma,” written in 1831, is often cited as the culmination of his artistic career. Norma represents a paradigmatic example of the bel canto genre, testimony to Bellini's talent and an essential pillar in the world opera repertoire.

Other information

A recent innovation in the interpretation of “Norma” was presented at the Opera Carlo Felice in Genoa, where Bellini's masterpiece was staged in two different versions. This initiative, based on an in-depth musicological study, offered two vocal interpretations of the main role: one for mezzo-soprano and the other for soprano.

Related News and Events

A double Norma at the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa

In scena due differenti versioni del capolavoro di Vincenzo Bellini con due . . .

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