Cast of ‘Norma’ says opera difficult to sing but easy to enjoy
Director Alex Olle's production of “Norma,” which premiered to open the 2016 season at the Royal Opera House in London, is set to be staged at the Seoul Arts Center from Oct. 26-29.
“I am happy to conduct one of the true masterpieces of Italian operas. Bellini’s (composition) is very demanding technically. ... It is a difficult piece to cast. Without exceptional singers, it's better not to perform," said conductor Roberto Abbado during a press conference Monday. The performance is accompanied by the Korean National Symphony Orchestra with the Noi Opera Chorus.
"The shape of the melody is very long and broad. The shape of musical numbers requires longer breath and a longer arch," explained Abbado.
Particularly, the aria "Casta Diva," one of the defining moments of the opera, is known for its intricate vocal acrobatics. As the first aria sung by the protagonist Norma, the singer needs to convey the charisma of a priestess intertwined with her complex inner emotions through a melodic composition.