Opera in two acts
Music Director: Felix Korobov
Stage Directors: Sergio Morabito, Jossi Wieler
Set and Costume Designer: Anna Viebrock
Lighting Designer: Sergey Shevchenko
Stage Choirmaster: Andrey Lazarev
Choirmaster: Maria Chekrkchieva
Running time: 3 hours 15 minutes with one intermission
Premiered on 6 September 2005
Recommended for 12+
Performed in Italian with Russian surtitles
This production was first staged at the Stuttgart State Opera in 2002 and, according to Germany's “Opernwelt” magazine, became “Event of the Year”. The authors of the modern version of Bellini’s Norma — Jossi Wieler, Sergio Morabito and Anna
Viebrock — have carried over the legend about the forbidden love of the Gallic high priestess Norma to the harsh realities of the 20th century.
The plot story of the psychological drama is however preserved, and Woman’s opposition to patriarchy in religion, public morals and love becomes even more penetrating and elevated. Norma’s cavatina Casta diva, one of the most exquisite gems of romantic music drama, sounds like a hymn to all-absorbing Love, a hymn to Woman.
This performance, which is at times difficult to watch and which seems to be far removed from the local companies and spectators, leaves an unsettled, nagging feeling. The context excites, over and over again attempting to become mummified and to get covered with mistletoe. In more impassive terms it is an important event and a powerful start of the season.
7 November 2005
The Novaya Opera Theatre of Moscow started its fifteenth season with a keynote action — the premiere of Bellini’s Norma, thus confirming its polemical title and experimentalist creed declared at the theatre’s birth… In producing Norma, the Novaya Opera did three important things. It did not uselessly attempt to revive the theatrical legend. It bridged the gap between the modern life and bel canto. It produced an absolutely modern performance, essentially changing the domestic ideas about the potentialities of the opera stage…
Whereas earlier the opera was just singing in a factitious décor or singing accompanied with a modern entourage which does not relate to the music, now it has come to be a full-fledged modern theatre, where the action is so realistic and sensible that the concept issue disappears by itself: a good theatre defies retelling…
When in the finale Norma asks her father to defend her children from barbarian countrymen and then leaves in a black coat with two convoy guards to curses fromthe crowd, you find yourself on the verge of tears.
09-15 September 2005