With the moon high in the sky, rumours spread through a crowd of worshippers. Will the one they so eagerly await perform her mysterious art before them? Some doubt it; others feverishly wait for her to appear. At last, the crowd falls silent as their idol steps forward to lead them in ancient worship, her eyes closed, her arms folded over a magnificent robe. Time seems to be suspended on her lips, forming an enigmatic smile on her inscrutable face. The long-awaited miracle occurs: her golden voice rises as she sings her eternal hymn, Casta diva, dedicated to the goddess of the moon. But behind this unshakable confidence lie the wounds of a woman betrayed in love and weary of the priesthood.
Of all the romantic bel canto roles, Norma is considered one of the most challenging, requiring exceptional qualities from the performer. The work was neglected in the early 20th century until Maria Callas rescued it from relative obscurity and made its cavatina her signature piece, going so far as to proclaim: “Bellini composed Norma for me.” Since then, the greatest performers have taken it on. Now it is Karine Deshayes’ turn to continue the legacy in a new production by Marie-Eve Signeyrole, directed by Andrea Sanguineti.
Overtitled in French, German