Saturday, 12 March 2016

English National Opera's Norma, London Coliseum - 11th March 2016 Personal Thoughts

I attended the last night of English National Opera's new production, Norma.  I enjoyed the Opera North's production a few years ago and my desire to see it again was strong.

English National Opera's Norma
Photo Credit: Alastair Muir
(Accessed from

Norma, a bel canto tragedy, is adapted from Alexandre Soumet's Norma, ou L'infanticide.  Music composed by Vincenzo Bellini and libretto by Felice Romani. Norma explores community, pagan rituals, power change, motherhood, jealously and the ultimate sacrifice.  A quintessential Romantic opera packed with drama as well as songs of expression.

Marjorie Owens was outstanding as Norma.  It is acknowledged the title role is very demanding vocally and emotionally.  Owens met the challenged beautifully from beginning to end.  The highlight was her singing Casta Diva to a goddess.  It was sung with conviction and hope which moved many in the audience following the applauses after the aria.

Rest of the cast were excellent including fellow soprano Jennifer Holloway as Adalgisa and tenor Peter Auty as Pollione.  All under the direction of Christopher Alden and musically Stephen Lord.  This Bel canto opera is beautiful for all the senses.

I always make time for English National Opera productions and I now look forward to seeing Madam Butterfly during their summer season.

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