“Bellini was, I believe, the last composer of opera fully to recognize that song was not just a means to a dramatic end but a magical power.” This statement by the musicologist David Kimbell describes a specific characteristic of Vincenzo Bellini’s music that constantly fascinates us. Bellini’s undisputed masterpiece Norma has now found its way to Beijing’s most important opera house: the National Centre for the Performing Arts.
Under the musical direction of Daniel Oren, the China NCPA Orchestra perfectly reflects the extraordinary fusion of Bellini’s tremendous dramatic force and sublime melody.
Only the greatest of sopranos are up to the challenge of Norma’s crowd-pleaser of bel canto fireworks, which is why Carmen Giannattasio was cast in the title role. She wields her full-bodied dramatic soprano with a pristine, agile voice and confidently faces the highly complex woman in the throes of terrible conflicts. Her outstanding performance of the famous prayer to the moon goddess, “Casta Diva”, is highlighted by stage director Pier’ Alli’s splendid setting and fascinating projections.
Paired with the ardent, emotive persuasiveness of Massimo Giordano in the role of Pollione, this production aptly portrays the main features of Bellini’s opera: The madness, ecstasy and beauty of total bel canto!
China National Centre for the Performing Arts Orchestra & Chorus
Daniel Oren, Musical Direction
Pier’Alli, Stage Director/Set Design
Carmen Giannattasio, Norma
Massimo Giordano, Pollione
Nidia Palacios, Adalgisa
Hao Jiang Tian, Oroveso
|Year of production:||2015|
|Recording Date:||April 2015|
|Associated Production Company:||China NCPA Beijing|