Bellini's Norma: back in the Netherlands
The ZaterdagMatinee has an enormous bel canto tradition. Bellini's masterpiece Norma is famous for the 'Casta diva' alone - but how often does the opera really sound in the Netherlands?
Venera Gimadieva as Norma
The central aria of Bellini's Norma is 'Casta diva' (chaste goddess). That aria became a metaphor for opera singing in general and for Maria Callas in particular. But Callas, Giuditta Pasta, Lilli Lehmann and Rosa Ponselle are history. And even though the title role is vocally, technically and psychologically extremely demanding - Lehmann compared it to Wagner's Brünnhilde - it is fantastic to hear new singers take up this challenge! At the Matinee, it will be Venera Gimadieva, who was heard here earlier in Rimsky-Korsakov's Golden Cockerel. Gimadieva is at home in the lyrical bel canto repertoire, and especially in Bellini's oeuvre.
Verdi and Wagner found their voices with Bellini
Bellini not only wrote beautiful music for the diva, but also for the seconda donna Adalgisa and the tenor role of Pollione. The orchestra is characterised by long 'unendliche' melodies, which give the score progression and momentum. Norma was premiered on 26 December 1831, Boxing Day, at the Scala in Milan. Triumphs followed, and the work was to have a decisive influence on Romantic music of the nineteenth century - including Verdi and Wagner.
Ticket sales NTR Saturday Matinee season 2022-23
From 1 March '22: passe-partouts and series tickets
From 1 June '22: single tickets