A number of repeated bows and loud shouts of “Bravo!” expressing the enthusiasm that could have been heard, felt and seen – this was the reaction of the audience at the premiere of Norma, the most successful of Vincenzo Bellini’s operas!
The auditorium burst in a loud applause already after Casta Diva, showing thus that Daria Masiero won the hearts of the Rijeka audience. One of the visitors said: “The hairs on the back of my neck stood up during Norma’s aria. Daria Masiero touched me so much that I’ll come back for the reruns as I have no intention of missing them.” The audience applauded enthusiastically with frequent shouts od approval after all the arias, duets and terzets. However, it was Diana Haller who received the loudest and warmest applause, not because she is from Rijeka, but because she was simply brilliant in the role of Adalgisa! None failed to emphasise how much she impressed them. “Diana Haller was brilliant in this love triangle, her singing and acting being of top-grade! I’m not subjective when I say this”, said a visitor from Austria.
Further impressions following the premiere of the opera on love, duty and discord were: ”In the end, the tears came to my eyes”, “Thanks for letting us love the soloists between scenes and acts. Taking bows in front of the curtain reminded me of some old times, surprised me and made happy”, “A most emotional performance. Masiero and Haller – I was out of breath watching and listening to the drama between the two of them. The set design and the costumes are excellent, the direction clear, each situation unobstructed, while soloists received what was needed to sound as Bellini had written, having also shown that. The chorus was great and the children wonderful”, “I was thrilled with the music; not having experienced Norma in the theatre, only now do I see it to be a proper master-piece”, “The moral is beautiful, love is the only faith”, “Sekulić is unique, I liked him very much”, “Unlike twenty years ago, it was owing to the surtitles that I could experience everything in a much stronger way, as you cannot follow what’s going on or understand well enough unless you have the translation in surtitles. With them I could understand each detail of every character, their moral dilemmas, powerful emotional relationships and deep feelings within them. What I especially liked were the scenes with the chorus”, “We came from Zagreb to see this performance and we are thrilled. According to me, the best part is the duet of Norma and Adalgisa in the second act. Haller was brilliant, the pitch of her voice excellent!”.
War, bloodshed, destruction and rage do not stand a chance against the love of a resolute and strong woman.
Norma was conducted by the Italian conductor Stefano Rabaglia, Christian Romanowski is the director, set designer and lighting designer, Dunja Vejzović artistic manager of the production and Dženisa Pecotić costume designer. Anton Kyrylov is the concertmaster, Nicoletta Olivieri vocal coach, also the chorus master together with Domeniko Briški. The opera was produced in co-operation with Vero Vision. This opera production features the CNT Ivan pl. Zajc Opera Chorus and Orchestra, the Ballet Ensemble and the Juraj Dobrila University of Pula Musical Academy Mixed Chorus.
Next to Daria Masiero as Norma and Diana Haller in the role of Adalgisa, Mario Zeffiri was the Roman proconsul in Gaul, Slavko Sekulić in the role of the Druids’ leader, Emilia Rukavina is Norma’s confidante and Matej Predojević Petrić in the role of the Roman centurion Flavio. Ivor Čučak and Filip Antunović are in the roles of Norma’s children, the girls are Hannah and Nadia Kircherm and Elena Kolić, while the boy is Matija Antunović.
The reruns of Norma are on Thursday 14th June at 19 hours and on Saturday 16th June at 18 hours.