Torn between her duty as high priestess of the Gallic Empire and her feelings for the Roman consul Pollione, whose two sons she secretly had, Norma discovers with fear that the latter only has eyes for the young Adalgisa. She thinks about revenge: will she have to kill Pollione’s sons, or kill him himself? Shared by remorse, Norma will sacrifice herself by going to up the stake in great humility, followed by Pollione, conscious of his actions.
“Norma is Bellini’s only opera that combines sincerity and ardour with the deepest melodic richness. It was in these terms that the young Richard Wagner showed his admiration for Bellini’s opera, which he conducted in 1837 in Riga.” These praises are easily understood by the dramatic force that is revealed both in the majestic clarity of the recitatives and in the melodic power of the bel canto, here in the service of tragedy, and which culminates in Casta Diva, the aria that has made Norma a veritable myth in the operatic repertoire.
Lyrical tragedy in 2 acts
Libretto by Felice Romani
First performed on December 26, 1831 at La Scala in Milan.
Alkor – Kassel Publishers, Rev. Maurizio Biondi and Riccardo Minasi
New production by the Opéra de Lausanne
Diego Fasolis began his career in the 1980s as a concert organist. Appointed chief conductor of the vocal and instrumental groups at the Italian language branch of Swiss radio and television, he also conducted the ensemble I Barocchisti, an orchestra dedicated to the baroque repertoire played on period instruments, which he founded with Adriana Fasolis-Brambilla, a name familiar to audiences in Lausanne. Regularly invited to the Salzburg Festival, he conducted Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at the Musikverein in Vienna, with the Concentus Musicus in Vienna and the Arnold Schoenberg Choir. More recently, for La Scala he created an orchestra playing period instruments with which he then conducted The Triumph of Time and Truth. In 2017, he also conducted Tamerlano with Plácido Domingo. His recent and future plans include La finta giardiniera at La Scala, L’incoronazione di Poppea at the Staatsoper Berlin, Agnese (Ferdinando Paër) and Così fan tutte at the Teatro Regio in Turin, and Dorilla in Tempe at La Fenice. At the Opéra de Lausanne: Faramondo (2009), Rinaldo (2011), Farnace (2011), L’Artaserse (2012), Dorilla in Tempe (2014), Die Zauberflöte (2015), Ariodante (2016), La clemenza di Tito (2018), and Orphée et Eurydice (2019).
To give operas all their rigorous aesthetic and conceptual unity, Stefano Poda assumes alone the jobs of stage director, scenography, costume designer, lighting designer and choreographer. He has thus created over one hundred productions worldwide, including Ariane et Barbe-Bleue at the Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse; Roméo et Juliette at the NCPA in Beijing; Andrea Chénier and Boris Godunov in Seoul; Il trovatore in Cagliari and Athens; Fosca by Carlos Gomes and Titan, a choreography to Mahler’s Symphony No 1, at the São Paulo Municipal Theatre; L’elisir d’amore in Strasbourg; Otello at the Hungarian State Opera; Tristan und Isolde for the inauguration of the 77th Maggio Musicale in Florence with Zubin Mehta; Thaïs at the São Paulo Municipal Theatre and the Teatro Regio in Turin; an international production of Leggenda by Alessandro Solbiati; La forza del destino in Parma; Falstaff with Ruggero Raimondi in Liège; Il concilio dei pianeti, Il trittico, Rigoletto, Maria Stuarda, Tosca, Attila, Don Carlo, etc.
At the Opéra de Lausanne: Ariodante and Faust (2016), and Lucia di Lammermoor (2017).
Paolo Fanale made his debut in the role of Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni) at Padua. He has since performed at La Scala, the Metropolitan, Royal Opera House, the Opéra de Paris, Berlin Staatsoper, Vienna State Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Dresden Semperoper, Opera di Roma, at the Salzburg Festival, and at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia… His vast repertoire includes the title roles in Faust and La clemenza di Tito, Fenton (Falstaff), Hylas (Les Troyens), Roméo (Roméo et Juliette), Tamino (Die Zauberflöte), Pelléas (Pelléas et Mélisande), Ferrando (Così fan tutte), Belmonte (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Tebaldo (I Capuleti e i Montecchi), Rinuccio (Gianni Schicchi), Edgardo (Lucia di Lammermoor), Gennaro (Lucrezia Borgia), Grimoaldo (Rodelinda), Nicias (Thaïs), Rodolfo (La Bohème), Il duca di Mantova (Rigoletto), and Nadir (Les pêcheurs de perles).
At the Opéra de Lausanne: the title-role in Faust (2016), and Tito in La clemenza di Tito (2018).
Born in Georgia, Salome Jicia studied in Rome and at the Rossini Opera Academy. She is the recipient of numerous awards. On stage, she performed the role of Aspasia (Mitridate, re di Ponto) in Tbilisi and Budapest, Rosina (La finta semplice) in Cremona and Pavia, Elena (La donna del lago) as well as the Contessa di Foleville (Il viaggio a Reims) in Pesaro. She sangs at the International Music Festival in Moscow, the International Opera Festival in Lima, as well as in a concert in Georgia with José Carreras. More recently, she sings Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) in Liège, as well as Così fan tutte in Covent Garden. In the pipeline: William Tell in Munich, Maria Stuarda in Zurich and Otello in Liège.
At the Opéra de Lausanne: Vitellia in La clemenza di Tito (2018).
Winner of several international competitions, Lucia Cirillo has performed on the greatest opera stages, including La Fenice, La Scala, Opéra National de Paris, Teatro San Carlo, Staatsoper Berlin, Teatro Real, as well as in Glyndebourne and Salzburg. She’s played the roles of Irene (Tamerlano), Ramiro (La finta giardiniera), Alcina (Orlando furioso), Elmiro (Dorilla in Tempe) and Despina (Così fan tutte). She’s worked under the baton of Fabio Biondi, Ottavio Dantone, Diego Fasolis and with directors such as Robert Carsen, Pierluigi Pizzi and Davide Livermore. Lucia Cirillo has recorded for the Decca, Deutsche Gramophon, Passacaille and Vivaldi Edition-Naïve labels.
At the Opéra de Lausanne: Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni (2017).
The Opéra de Lausanne Choir is young, made up of students of singing from Lausanne’s University of Music and the Geneva HEM, and professional singers. Its members are selected by audition and periodically reheard. For each opera, they are distributed depending on their voice and/or aptitudes. Thanks mainly to their talent on stage, supported by an infectious enthusiasm, they are highly appreciated by all the theatre directors invited. For a few years the choir has benefitted from preparation by several experienced choir masters from different backgrounds, chosen depending on the works being sung and their specific interest.
After studying at the Aix-en-Provence Conservatoire where he made his debut conducted by Darius Milhaud, Patrick Marie Aubert won 1st prize for orchestra conducting in Pierre Villette’s class. He has also won prizes for singing, lyric art and chamber music. He was a teacher of choral singing then director at the Conservatoire Léo Delibes in Clichy, artistic director of the vocal ensemble Vox Hominis, musical director of the Orchestre Divertimento and choir master at the Opéra de Nantes. As choir master of the French army until 2000, he participated for almost twenty years in major national events and conducted numerous concerts in France and other countries around the world. He was choir master at the Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse from 2003 to 2009, then director of the Opéra de Paris choir from 2009 to 2014. He has worked with conductors such as Maurizio Arena, Serge Baudo, Roberto Benzi, Marc Minkowski, Evelino Pidò, Michel Plasson, Georges Prêtre, Yutaka Sado and Jeffrey Tate, and theatre directors including Robert Carsen, Georges Lavaudant, Jorge Lavelli, Laurent Pelly, Pier Luigi Pizzi, Olivier Py and Robert Wilson. Patrick Marie Aubert is a Knight of the Legion of Honour, an Officer of the National Order of Merit and Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters.
At the Opéra de Lausanne: Orphée et Eurydice (2019).