26 September 2016 at 10.09pm | 10 Comments
In this film - screened in the interval - the Spanish director is joined by members of the cast and the creative team to describe why the work is ‘one of the great operas'.
'All great sopranos would be drawn to this role,' says Music Director of The Royal Opera Antonio Pappano, who conducts the new production this Season. 'The music is just from another planet – Dramatic. Beautiful. Dark. Light.'
Bulgarian soprano Sonya Yoncheva takes on the challenging role in this staging:
'She is a political woman. She is a mother. She is a daughter. She is a best friend. Even a potential killer — she’s everything,' says Yoncheva of the complex female lead.
Norma is a priestess who falls in love with Pollione, the leader of the occupying force suppressing her people. After Norma becomes mother to two children, Pollione’s love for Norma withers and he pursues a fellow priestess Adalgisa.
'Her life is really complicated. My life is also really complicated – but not as much as her!' jests the soprano.
Playing her lover Pollione is Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja, who reveals why Bellini’s opera is such a timeless classic: 'It’s the story of love, betrayal and then redemption in the end,' says Calleja. 'And it’s some of the most glorious music written by one of the bel canto masters.'
Italian mezzo-soprano Sonia Ganassi completes the love triangle and also praises Bellini’s genius. 'Only a man who loves women can write such beautiful music for the female voice,' she beams.
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The production is a co-production with Opéra national de Paris and is given with generous philanthropic support from Mrs Susan A. Olde OBE and The Tsukanov Family Foundation.