Get entertainment news, trailer drops, and photos with IMDb's coverage of 2017 San Diego Comic-Con featuring host and IMDboat captain Kevin Smith. Watch our exclusive celebrity interviews, and tune in to our LIVE show from 3:30 to 5 p.m. PDT on Saturday, July 22.
Norma is perhaps Bellini's most well-known opera(Casta Diva is an example of an aria that even non-opera-enthusiasts will recognise) and perhaps his best as well. Of the productions seen of Norma the only outstanding one is the Caballe/Vickers production though the June Anderson(apart from the terrible Pollione) and Edita Gruberova(apart from the weird production values) performances are good too, while I didn't care for the Hasmik Papian, Daniela Dessi or either of the Theodossiou productions. This production has its shortcomings but it has a lot of good things and is one of the better productions seen of Norma. The sets and lighting are far too dark to the extent that it was difficult to make out what was going on, Lucia Aliberti's singing could have had more force and attack to it in places, she is a highly musical singer but the whispery-piano dynamic was overused for my liking and parts of the production did seem stolid staging-wise. The costumes suited the production and the setting of the opera appropriately. Musically, the production is outstanding with stylish and nuanced orchestral playing, sensitive singing- if stolid acting- from the chorus and Daniel Oren's alert and beautifully shaped conducting. The staging may not be the most compelling but the emotions and the feelings that the singers bring on stage still makes the drama believable. Lucia Aliberti's dark Callas-like timbre, shimmering pianissimo singing, good florid technique, smooth lines and heartfelt acting make her a good Norma, compensating for some lack of power and over-reliance of soft singing. Nicola Martinucci sings with heroism, intelligence and a vibrant ring to his voice that's always strong without shouting or blustering, and he is more musical and emotes more than most Polliones. Anna Caterina Antonacci sings with a warm tone shaped with great musicality and range of tone colour and she is the most involved of the principals, embracing Adalgisa's character complexities admirably. Roberto Scandiuzzi is a noble Oroveso with a sonorous if at times unsteady voice. All in all, solid production but could have been more. 7/10 Bethany Cox
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?