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Norma (3 CD) - Sutherland, Pavarotti, Caballé

Item# 028947830429

Norma (3 CD) - Sutherland, Pavarotti, Caballé
Performer: Joan Sutherland, Luciano Pavarotti, Montserrat Caballé
Conductor: Richard Alan Bonynge
Composer: Vincenzo Salvatore Carmelo Francesco Bel
Audio CD (November 21, 2011)
Number of Discs: 3
Label: Decca Records

`The cast is a very starry one indeed. ...there is a stronger sense of authority, `Sediziose voci` has a more matriarchal sternness, `voci di guerra` a more chesty emphasis... shunning side-by-side somparison with the sounds of 20 years ago... the flexibility remains virtually unimpaired and while Sutherland no longer sings `Casta diva` and the `Mira, o Norma` duets in the original keys (as in 1964), she still has a powerful top D to prolong for bars and bars as the climax to the finale of Act I... [Caballe} manages rather marvellously to adept her vocal character to that of the younger woman.... Caballe shades with exquisite poignancy and finesse. Pavarotti`s Pollione is clean-cut and vigourous, Ramey`s Oroveso authoritative... The recorded sound is great inprovemnet on the 1965 set.`

This opera is an extraordinary fusion of sublime melody, vocal challenge, and dramatic power. It examines an ageless and archetypal situation: a powerful woman compromises her ideals for love, only to find herself betrayed by her lover. But equally gripping is her relationship with the younger woman, who is the new object of her former lover’s attention and in whom Norma sees both a rival and a second self. The title role demands dramatic vocal power combined with the agility and technique of a coloratura singer. It is a daunting challenge that few can rise to: those who have are part of operatic lore. Premiere: Teatro alla Scala, Milan, 1831.
Vincenzo Bellini (1801–1835)

The opera is set in Gaul (France) at the beginning of its occupation by the Roman Empire. Almost all of the characters are druids, members of the Gallic priesthood, the only exceptions being the tenors, both of whom are Romans.
It is interesting that the Roman Empire, long depicted in European culture as a civilizing force, is here seen as corrupt and exploitative.



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