Norma Live at the Met tonight on Sirius/XM Radio (Met Opera Radio)

Norma Angela

Tonight begins the battle of the two Normas at the Metropolitan Opera.  Soprano’s Angela Meade and Sondra Radvanovsky take on the role that made so many sopranos legends in the role.  Very large shoes to fill in this regard.  Tonight, the Met Orchestra, which played exquisitely under the baton of Maestro Levine last week, will be conducted by Maestro Riccardo Frizza and Norma will be sung by Sondra Radvanovsky, Adalgisa by Kate Aldrich, Pollione by Aleksandrs Antonenko, and the illustrious James Morris will sing Oroveso.

Norma 1970

Whenever I think of Norma, I think of the magnificent Joan Sutherland and either Marilyn Horne or Tatiana Troyanos as Adalgisa, or more specifically, Rosa Raisa, Claudio Muzio, or Rosa Ponselle in the title role.  Of course, one cannot forget the magnificent technical mastery of the role from La Divina, Maria Callas.  We’ll see how Ms. Radvanovsky fairs in the role this evening.  Historically, the role of Norma was meant for a large voice with incredible agility, a buoyant middle voice and squillo. Taxing is the role because of its weight and the requirement to move the voice fluidly through each melisma, and so it will be interesting to see which of these two sopranos, Ms. Meade or Ms. Radvanovsky, most suits the role.

Norma is a tragedia lirica  in two acts by Vincenzo Bellini with a libretto by Felice Romani after Norma, ossia L’infanticidio (Norma, or The Infanticide) by Alexandre Soumet. First produced at La Scala Milano on 26 December 1831, it is generally regarded as an example of the supreme height of the Bel Canto tradition.

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Already know that the fioritura will tax Sandra’s ability but once past those passages she should do well. Angela, on the other hand, did very well with those florid passages in Ernani so should be able to do it all. Dramatically, I don’t have a clue.


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