Norma, Israeli Opera 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Renowned Israeli Opera conductor Daniel Oren returns to the Israeli Opera to
lead the new production of Norma (directed by Federico Tiezzi), featuring an
international cast of opera singers – Dimitra Theodossiu, Eva Mei, Roberto
Aronica and Roberto Scandiuzzi – who perform regularly on leading opera stages
around the world.
Norma is the story of a woman who has to decide whether
to follow her heart and betray her people or forsake her love, confess her sins
and be punished. She is one of the most complex opera heroines in the
repertoire, and her story is the theme on which many variations were later
created, such as the story of Aida.
Norma takes place in the first
century BCE in Gaul, where the Romans ruled the land. Norma is a Druid priestess
who betrays her people and her religion by falling in love with a Roman soldier
named Pollione and giving birth to two children. But Pollione soon forgets Norma
and is infatuated with her closest friend, the priestess Adalgisa.
the two priestesses finally reveal the truth and confess their love to the same
man, each is willing to give up her happiness for the sake of her friend. At the
end, Norma confesses her crime and willingly accepts the punishment – to be
burned at the stake.
Greek soprano Dimitra Theodossiu, who performed
Abigaille in Nabucco at the Israeli Opera’s Masada Festival last summer, is
Norma, a role she sings regularly in leading opera houses around the world.
Young Italian soprano Maria Agresta will replace her in some of the
performances. The role of Pollione will be shared by three tenors: Italian
Roberto Aronica (Rodolfo in La Boheme at the Israeli Opera) and two tenors,
Italian Giorgio Beruggi and Korean Francesco Hong. For both, it is their first
performance on the Israeli opera stage. The role of Adalgisa will be shared by
two Italian singers – soprano Eva Mei and mezzo-soprano Daniella Barcelona. Also
appearing are Roberto Scandiuzzi and Carlo Striulli as High Priest Oroveso,
mezzosoprano Ayala Zimbler and tenor Guy Manheim.
As per usual in Israeli
Opera performances, a 30-minute preperformance lecture (in Hebrew) will be
available to all ticket holders one hour before curtain time. Opera Talkbacks
will take place after several of the performances.12 performances from
April 8. The opera will be performed in Italian with Hebrew and English
surtitles. NIS 175 – NIS 428.