Great Performances: Season 10, Episode 1

Norma (20 Sep. 1981)

TV Episode  -   -  Biography | Drama | Music
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 11 users  
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Norma, a Druid priestess, has broken her vow of chastity with an enemy of her people, the Roman Proconsul Pollione, who has now turned to another lover. Norma must choose between taking vengeance against her lover or atoning for her sins.

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Title: Norma (20 Sep 1981)

Norma (20 Sep 1981) on IMDb 8.1/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
Joan Sutherland ...
Norma
Tatiana Troyanos ...
Francisco Ortiz ...
Pollione
...
Frances Ginzer ...
Clotilde
Michael Shust ...
Flavio
Paul Chvostek ...
Annabelle Chvostek ...
Lister Sinclair ...
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Storyline

Norma, a Druid priestess, has broken her vow of chastity with an enemy of her people, the Roman Proconsul Pollione, who has now turned to another lover. Norma must choose between taking vengeance against her lover or atoning for her sins.

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20 September 1981 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Good, if flawed production
20 July 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I did like this production of Norma, but I didn't love it. I did find the picture quality rather blurry at times, the sound quality is muffled, the lighting rather dim, the subtitles erratic and while Bonynge's conducting has moments of brilliance there are others where he disappoints such as Pollione's big aria which he rushes through spoiling somewhat the aria's beauty.

That said, the costumes and sets are above decent, the story and characters engaging and the music throughout sublime. The orchestra play stylistically and powerfully. Joan Sutherland is past her prime I admit, but she does sing beautifully and commands the stage very well.

Casta Diva was an unfortunate disappointment, the high notes were fine and the speed was ideal, but Sutherland on the sustained phrases sounded as though she was going to run out of breath any second and her lower middle/low registers have shades of flatness. She does though warm up significantly and her duets with Troyanos are stunning.

Francisco Oroveso is rather bland in the acting as Pollione, but he is very dashing and sings wonderfully with gorgeous tone. Justino Diaz is excellent, as are the chorus, but the highlight is Tatiana Troyanos who is just perfection as Adalgaisa.

Overall, the production is flawed, but I thought it was pretty good. 6.5/10 Bethany Cox


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