Bellini: Norma (Live 2-CD) – Maria Callas

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Item: 190295844639


Bellini: Norma (Live 2-CD) – Maria Callas

Composer: Vincenzo Bellini
Artists: Maria Callas, Mirto Picchi, Ebe Stignani, Giacomo Vaghi, Paul Asciak, Joan Sutherland, Orchestra & Chorus of the Royal Opera House
Conductor: Vittorio Gui
Number of Discs: 2
Label: PRX/Warner Classics/Parlophone
CD Release Date: July 26, 2017

The title role in Bellini’s Norma is an epic and multi-faceted one, often considered the ultimate vocal challenge for an operatic soprano. Callas sang it on stage 92 times, more often than any other heroine, and her achievement casts a long shadow: more than 50 years after her last performance in the role (Paris, 1965) she remains the point of reference for any soprano who aspires to it.

It was in 1952, as Norma, that she made her debut at London’s Royal Opera House, the theatre that witnessed her final operatic appearance 13 years later. In the famous duets that Norma shares with her fellow druid priestess, Adalgisa, Callas is partnered by another superlative singer, Ebe Stignani, the greatest Italian mezzo-soprano of her era. Taking the small role of Norma’s servant Clotilde is a singer who in 1952 was destined for great things, and for the role of Norma…Joan Sutherland.

“Callas, in her vocal prime...electrifies the senses through her total identification with Norma's plight. As ever, her accomplishment of the recitative...forms the framework for a wholly absorbing and commanding interpretation.” (Gramophone)


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Vincenzo Bellini’s Norma

Bellini’s tragic tale of a tormented priestess caught in a love triangle, first heard in 1831, features one of the greatest bel canto roles in the soprano repertoire. The title heroine’s aria “Casta diva” has become synonymous with this style, which combines a wealth of melody with long legato lines and vocal fireworks.


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