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Norma (opera)

Norma is an opera in two acts by Vincenzo Bellini with libretto by Felice Romani[?]. It was first produced at La Scala in 1832.

Cast

  • Sever, Roman proconsul in Gaul (Tenor).
  • Orovist, chief of the Druids (Basso).
  • Norma, his daughter, an astrologer (Soprano).
  • Adalgisa, priestess in the grove of the Irmin statue (Alto).
  • Klotilda, Norma’s friend (Soprano).
  • Flavius, Sever’s companion (Tenor).
  • Children of Norma and Sever.

Plot Synopsis

Act I. The grove. A secret love unites the seeress Norma with Sever, the Roman proconsul, by whom she has borne two children. Sever had loved the priestess Adalgisa before he knew Norma, but has not seen her for some time. When he finds her in the temple of Irmin his love for her returns, and they resolve to fly together. Adalgisa innocently tells Norma of her love, and the seeress curses Sever for his treachery.

Act II. Norma’s apartment. She is about to kill her children, but through maternal pity finally confides them to the care of Adalgisa. When Sever comes to take Adalgisa from the temple, Norma denounces him and he is seized by the Druids, after having refused to give up Adalgisa. Norma proclaims herself equally guilty with him. The funeral pyre is lighted, and ascending it, Norma dies with her lover.

Songs

Act I:

  • Orovist and chorus: "Ascend the hill, Druids"
  • Scene and cavatina, Sever: "With Adalgisa stood I at Rome’s altar"
  • Chorus: "Norma appears"
  • Scene and cavatina of Norma: "Chaste goddess, in the silver light"
  • Scene and duet, Sever and Adalgisa: "Go and sacrifice to false gods"
  • Recitative, duet and terzett, Norma, Adalgisa, Klotilda, and Sever:
    • "Go and conceal them both"
    • "Here he robbed me of peace"
    • "Norma, not in this hour"

Act II:

  • Scene of Norma: "Both asleep, they see not the steel that pierces them"
  • Recitative and duet between Norma and Adalgisa:
    • "O Adalgisa, hear my prayers"
    • "See, oh Norma, O have pity"
  • Change of scene: The temple.
  • Norma, Klotilda, chorus: "He returns!"
  • Battle song of the Gauls: "Fight! fight!"
  • Recitative and duet between Sever and Norma: "Now are you in my hands"
  • Finale: "A new sacrifice I offer to your rage."



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