Daniel Oren Conducts Norma by Bellini
At the Israeli Opera with
Dimitra Theodossiu, Eva Mei,
Roberto Aronica and Roberto Scandiuzzi
The Israeli Opera 26th season continues with a new production of one of the most important and significant bel canto operas – Bellini's Norma.
Renowned Israeli opera conductor Daniel Oren returns to the Israeli Opera to lead this new production (directed by Federico Tiezzi) featuring an international cast of opera singers who perform regularly on all leading opera stages around the world.
Oren will conduct the Israeli Opera chorus and the opera orchestra, the Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon LeZion. 12 performances are planned at the opera house commencing April 8, 2011. The opera is performed in Italian with Hebrew and English surtitles.
As is usual in all Israeli Opera performances, a 30 minutes pre performance 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.
The story of the opera Norma takes place in the first century BC in Gaul where the Romans ruled the land. Norma is a Druid priestess who betrays her people and her religion by falling in love and giving birth to two children by the Roman soldier Pollione. However Pollione no longer years for Norma's love as he is now infatuated with her closest friend, the priestess Adalgisa. When the two priestesses finally reveal to one another the truth about their love to the same man, each is willing to give up her love for the sake of her friend. At the end Norma confesses her crime and willingly accepts the punishment – to be burned at the scaffold.
Norma is a story about a woman who has to decide if she follows her heart and betrays her people, or if she betrays her own heart once she has sinned. She is one of the most complex opera heroines in the repertoire and her story is the theme on which many variations would be created later, first and foremost of course the story of Aida.
Greek soprano Dimitra Theodossiu (who performed Abigaille in Nabucco at the Israeli Opera's Masada Festival last summer) returns to the Israeli Opera to perform Norma, a role she sings regularly in all leading opera houses around the world. Young Italian soprano Maria Agresta will perform Norma 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 new tenors to our stage, Italian Giorgio Beruggi and Korean Francesco Hong. The role of Adalgisa will be shared by two Italian singers in their local debut – soprano Eva Mei and mezzo soprano Daniella Barcelona. The role of the High Priest Oroveso will be performed by two Italian basses Roberto Scandiuzzi (Brogni in La Juive at the Israeli Opera last season) and Carlo Striulli who has sang many roles for the company. Also appearing are mezzo soprano Ayala Zimbler and tenor Guy Manheim.