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Michele Mariotti directs a masterpiece by Vincenzo Bellini
Teatro Regio, 16th May 2012 at 20:00
On Wednesday 16th May, after ten years, Norma by Vincenzo Bellini is back at the Teatro Regio. The scenes are by Alberto Fassini and the sets and costumes by William Orlandi. On the podium of the Orchestra and Chorus of the Regio is the well known and famous, albeit young, conductor Michele Mariotti.
In the title role we have Dimitra Theoddossiou rather than Norma Fantini as previously announced, who had to step down. Completing the cast there are: Marco Berti, Giacomo Prestia, Kate Aldrich, Gianluca Floris and Rachel Hauge.
The direction of this production, made by Teatro Regio in co-production with Opera Scenes of Rome, is by Vittorio Borelli and the lights are by Andrea Anfossi. Claudio Fenoglio is going to conduct the Choir of the Teatro Regio.
Norma was written in 1831 by Bellini, with a libretto by Felice Romani from the tragedy Norma ou L'Infanticide by Louis-Alexandre Soumet. The opera premiered at La Scala on 26th December of the same year, having Giuditta Pasta in the title role. Giuditta who was at that time at the height of her career, was a singer who could combine excellent skills in gifted virtuoso expression. Initially, as Bellini himself wrote to a friend it was a "fiasco, fiasco, a solemn fiasco!" but which soon became a great success. The role of Norma, described as "encyclopedic" by the same author, is considered one of the most difficult and complex in the history of opera but also among the most prestigious for a soprano and «Casta Diva» is one of the tunes that made the history of belcanto, a memorable interpretation of Maria Callas.
The story of Norma is the story of two colliding worlds: one of which is the Roman world, Mediterranean, urbanized, and the other is the Nordic world, nocturnal and immersed in the nature of the Gauls, who seek, now in vain, to rebel against invasion. As often happens, the great tragedies of a people can be told from a personal tragedy, such as that of Norma, a Druid priestess who falls in love with the enemy commander, the Roman proconsul Pollione. In the name of love, Norma sacrifices honour and religion. She lies to her people, she prevents them from rebelling, while Pollione betrays her with another woman. Only in death they will find themselves in a new union, when the fire of pyre covers them in an eternal embrace.
The young conductor, Michele Mariotti who is thirty-three years old and comes from Pesaro, Italy is making his debut in Norma. Mariotti who is the Main Conductor of the Teatro Comunale of Bologna, returns to the Regio after having conducted Don Pasquale in 2009. Considering his approach to the work of Bellini he said: «When you get close to great masterpieces, the biggest difficulty is the very success that those operas have historically achieved. I try to avoid both the mere repetition of tradition, a sign of laziness, and the anxiety for having to show something absolutely new, which can be dangerous. I try to find a compromise between these two extremes. Norma can also be considered as a contemporary opera, it is intimate, familiar, and I want to emphasize this dimension».
In the title role, is the Greek soprano Dimitra Theoddossiou, who returns to the Regio after being Lucrezia Borgia in 2008; Pollione will be played by the tenor Marco Berti, the star in Carmen in 2006. In the role of Oroveso, is the bass Giacomo Prestia, and Adalgisa is the American mezzo-soprano Kate Aldrich, who is greatly remembered by the Turin public after her beautiful interpretation of Lucrezia Borgia by Maffio Orsini.
During the eleven performances – up to 30th May - the main roles will be alternated between Maria Billeri (Norma), Aquiles Machado (Pollione), Enrico Iori (Oroveso) and Veronica Simeoni (Adalgisa).
Norma will be presented to the public by Alessando Mormile at the Incontro con l’Opera to be held at the Piccolo Regio Puccini on Wednesday, 2nd May at 17:30.
Turin 2nd May 2012
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