Sarah Ferede (Adalgisa), Morenike Fadayomi (Norma), Calin Bratescu (Pollione), Statisterie, Chor | © Hans Jörg Michel
Norma
Vincenzo Bellini
Revival
Duration: about 2¾ hours, one interval
Duration: about 2¾ hours, one interval
ACT I
Oroveso, the high priest, leads the Druids in a prayer for revenge against the conquering Romans. When they have left, the Roman proconsul, Pollione, confesses to his friend Flavio that he no longer loves the priestess Norma, who has broken her vow of chastity by secretly giving him two sons. Now he has fallen in love with the novice priestess, Adalgisa. They leave as the Druids assemble and Norma prays to the moon goddess for peace.

After the Druids leave, Adalgisa enters and is soon joined by Pollione, who persuades her to flee with him to Rome the next day.

When Adalgisa confesses Norma she has a lover, Norma, recalling her own weakness, is about to absolve Adalgisa her vows. But when Norma learns that Pollione is Adalgisa’s suitor, Norma condemns his lack of fidelity.


ACT II
Norma is about to murder her children, but moved by their innocence, can’t bring herself to do it. Instead she contemplates suicide, and after summoning Adalgisa, omplores her to marry Pollione and take care of the children. Moved by Norma’s sacrifice, Adalgisa offers to convince Pollione to return to Norma. When Norma learns, that Adalgisa has been unsuccessful in her suit, she incites the warriors to battle.

Pollione is brought before Norma for judgement. When Pollione refuses to leave Gaul without Adalgisa, Norma threatens to condemn Adalgisa. She announces that a priestess of the Temple must die for having betrayed her country and her god. To everyone’s surprise, she announces that it is she. Pollione, moved by her nobility, realizes anew his love for her as she goes to her death.

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