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Vincenzo Bellini is widely regarded as the last and greatest composer of bel canto opera, and his most famous operas, Norma, is one of the leading works in the genre.
Even Richard Wagner said of Norma: “If we weep from emotion on hearing it, it’s nothing to be ashamed of.” This release is a new production of the opera, directed by Grammy Award-nominated director of opera, theatre, and film, Kevin Newbury.
Sondra Radvanovsky stars as a captivating Norma in a performance in which the New York Times described as “powerful, elegant.” Gregory Kunde performs as Pollione. operatraveller.com wrote of his performance: “something very special. The word ‘historic’ is used perhaps a little too often but tonight there really is no other adjective to describe the sensational performances offered to us by Sondra Radvanovsky and Gregory Kunde.”
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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