Tulsa Opera’s first production of Norma premiered on Saturday, April 30th, and continued for two more presentations on Friday May 6th and Sunday May 8th. Having attended the last two performances of the run, I can say that the company can pride itself in having assembled one of the most satisfying Norma casts that I have heard in the past fifteen years. Read the rest of this entry »
Monthly Archives: May 2011
Vincenzo Bellini’s Norma, the crown jewel of Bel Canto operas, premiered at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan on December 28, 1831 to an unenthusiastic reception. Following the path of other famous opening night fiascos (Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Sivilglia, Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and Verdi’s La Traviata come to mind,) the opera’s importance was recognized after its second performance, and the story of the Druid Priestess who falls in love with the enemy quickly established itself as part of the international repertoire. Last week, the opera premiered at Tulsa Opera for the first time in the company’s 63-year history, led by conductor Kostis Protopapas, with a cast headed by Brenda Harris as Norma. That the company has waited this long to premiere such an important work is indicative of the difficulty in conscientiously finding an appropriate exponent; one capable of bringing forth the classic qualities needed to make Norma an extraordinary musical event. Based on reviews following the opening night presentation on Saturday April 30th, it would seem that all was worth the wait.