The Sunday Opera: Vincenzo Bellini's "Norma" from the Lyric Opera of Chicago
This week’s Sunday Opera (8/25 3:00 p.m.) travels back to ancient Gaul for a tale of forbidden love and betrayal in Vincenzo Bellini’s “Norma” from the Lyric Opera of Chicago. In it, the Druid priestess Norma has fallen in love with the pro-counsel of the invading Roman forces, Pollione, and against the law, has had two children with him. When Pollione abandons Norma for one of her attending priestesses, Adalgisa, it sets in motion the tragedy which ends in death for Norma and Pollione in the sacrificial flames.
In this performance, Sondra Radvanovsky is Norma and Russell Thomas her Pollione. Elizabeth DeShong is Adalgisa, and Andrea Silvestrelli is Oroveso, Norma’s father. Riccardo Frizza conducts the Lyric Opera Chorus and Orchestra. Stay tuned after the opera when host Michael Kownacky will continue with more music by Bellini in his Concerto for Oboe and Orchestra in E flat major, and we’ll finish the time we have with an expansive oratorio by Bohuslav Martinu based on the world’s oldest known literary work, the Epic of Gilgamesh.