Norma, an opera by Vincenzo Bellini, had its premiere on the Main Stage on 10th June under the baton of Maestro Dejan Savić. The production has been staged by Giancarlo del Monaco, an artist of international reputation and career, who has also designed the set.
In this masterpiece of operatic art, where love, regret, betrayal, revenge and sacrifice intermingle, the title role of Norma, the High Priestess, was sung by Sanja Kerkez, soprano, while the role of Pollione, a Roman Proconsul in Gaul, was interpreted by Janko Sinadinović, Dragana del Monaco, a mezzo soprano, interpreted the role of Adalgisa, a young priestess in the Temple of Irminsul, and the role of Oroveso, Chief of the Druids, was interpreted by Nenad Jakovljević, a bass.
In this most popular opera of early Italian bel canto, with which Bellini achieved the pinnacle of his artistic skill and created a piece of great lyrical and dramatic beauty, the role of Norma’s servant Clotilde was interpreted by Ljubica Vraneš, and the role of Pollione’s companion, Flavio, by Slobodan Živković, a tenor.
Libretto was written by Felice Romani after the eponymous tragedy by Alexandre Soumet. Norma is an opera in two acts, with two scenes in each act.
This lyrical tragedy deals with events in Gaul, or more precisely in the grove and the temple of Irminsul, in the first century A.D., at the time when Gaul was occupied by Rome and when druids, priests of ancient Celts, were preparing a rebellion against the Romans.
The high priestess of the Druids, Norma, has secretly broken her vows by falling in love in Pollione and has borne him two children. However, Pollione falls in love with Adalgisa. He wants to leave Norma and take Adalgisa to Rome.
Bellini’s heroine, Norma, is torn between her obligation to serve her people and her love for the enemy, and she finds the solution in making a personal sacrifice.
She condemns herself for the sins she commited, Pollione joins her, and they die together.
Giancarlo del Monaco, a renowned stage director, who worked in numerous prestigious theatres throughout the world, staged a modern production in a spirit of Greek tragedy, bearing in mind that the hero bears a striking resemblance to Euripides’ Medea. Namely, both women were abandoned by their beloved men and they both craved revenge.
This staging of Norma, as well as costumes designed by Stella del Monaco, and the unembellished set design that accompanies the plot, are entirely historically neutral.
The new staging of Bellini’s opera has made a strong impression on numerous viewers in the hall filled to capacity, who rewarded the artists, the team of associates and especially the protagonists, with several-minute long ovations and “bravos”.
The Orchestra and Choir and Ballet of the National Theatre in Belgrade took part in the performance.
Vesna Jansens has been a Concertmaster, while Đorđe Stanković has been a Chorus Master.
The production team also consists of Katarina Grčić Nikolić (Associate Costume Designer), Jacopo Pantani (Lighting Design), Dijana Cvetković (Assistant Conductor), Ivana Dragutinović Maričić (Associate Director), Aleksandar Nikolić / Vladan Đurković (Assistant Directors), Miraš Vuksanović (Associate Set Designer), Jasna Saramandić / Milica Vučković (Assistant Set Designers) and Aleksandra Pecić (Assistant Costume Designer).
The next performance will take place on Saturday, 17th June.