I am very fond of Norma and of Joan Sutherland. I recently saw the 1981 production with Sutherland and Tatiana Toyanos, I did like it in general(Troyanos was the best thing about it) but apart from some dated picture quality and rather blocky sets I prefer this by quite a wide margin. The costumes are very nice though, the story is heartfelt and moves at a solid pace and Bellini's music is gorgeous. The orchestra are superb and Richard Bonynge's conducting is much more assured than it is in the other production I speak of. The performances are excellent, apart from a slightly disappointing Casta Diva Joan Sutherland is very good as Norma particularly with Margreta Elkins, who is simply excellent. Ron Stevens is a vocally powerful Pollione, and Clifford Grant is excellent as Oroveso. All in all, very good. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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