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The premiere of the opera “Norma” at Bucharest National Opera House

Wednesday, 27 October 2021 , ora 14.48

Bucharest National Opera House presented on Friday, October 22nd, 2021, the premiere of the new production of the opera "Norma" by Vincenzo Bellini.

Bucharest National Opera House brought back in its repertoire abelcanto masterpiece- the opera "Norma" by Vincenzo Bellini. The new production was organized by the well-known director Alice Barb. This is her first creation on the stage of the Opera House in Bucharest and the show is worth watching and listening to. It makes a pleasant impression through the modern aspect, that is, however, rooted in tradition.

The unique and fine decor, of an efficiency given by the circular platform, was designed by Adrian Damian, and the refined costumes are Maria Miu's creation. The stage set is impeccably completed by the video projections by DilmanaYordanova and Eftimie Gheorghe Ovidiu. Ballerina Monica Petrică joined the creative crew, as choreographer.

I appreciated the relation between the soloist characters, in accordance with the score, and the revolving stage significantly contributes to the dynamics of the soloists' execution. Its diameter leaves a limited performing space outside it, that is the place of the choir and the ballet. The characters Pollione and Flavio make the majority of theirentrances from the performance hall.

The premiere cast brought to the fore the night's special guests- soprano Elena Moșuc in the title role and mezzo-soprano RuxandraDonose in the role of Adalgisa. They are two artists who have recently celebrated three decades of international experience in their career, with a praiseworthy soloist appearance in Friday's performance. Their voices harmonized perfectly, forming a wonderful duo, from the point of view of both stage set and voice. It is important to mention that RuxandraDonose hasn't performed on a stage on an opera in Romania for years. So the night of the premiere was a delight for those who admired hersplendid performance as Adalgisa. The two guests were accompanied by the soloists of the institution: Daniel Magdalas Pollione- a trustworthy partner for them, bass Marius Boloș- an Orovesco with an ascending evolution throughout the show, mezzo-soprano Sidonia Nica as Clotilde and tenor Andrei Lazăras Flavio- both with convincing interpretations. The orchestra, the choir prepared by Daniel Jinga and Adrian Ionescu and the ballet of the Opera House performed together. The musical directorwasconductor Ethan Schmeisser. He managed to give prominence to the voice of the soloists, because the orchestra and the choir never performed overtheir voices, in terms of volume, as it happens in far too many cases. Schmeisser has worked as an opera pianist and choir conductor for a long time, so he is used to giving the soloists the primary role they have in the musical discourse.

Therefore, "Norma" is a production that deserves a long-lasting place. Its longevity can be ensured only if Bucharest National Opera House, a repertory theatre with employed soloist, will also provide two casts of its own, that will alternate in performances with those that include guests.

Specially coming from Iași, musicologist Vasilica Stoiciu Frunză shared with us her impressions at the end of the show:

"I can't really say that a show ended, but, in fact, a show has just begun, even though the performance ended. It is a new page in the repertoire of Bucharest National Opera House turned right now, at the Centenary, and I am very happy that this belcanto title was chosen. Both the stage and the hall were in need of some reinvigoration and MsAlice Barb brought us a 21st century show, in a very delicate combination of classic and modern. She was definitely helped by the soloistswho performed tonight! The show is worth listening to and watching because the images, the lightings, all projections are very elaborate, and in harmony with the dramatic performance. This unity was produced out of great respect for Vincenzo Bellini's composition. Of course I was enthusiastic because I first watched the show at Iași, which premiered in 1988 and it lasted for three seasons there with Mioara Cortez, Adina Tudose, and FilimonSiminic. And, here I am, after so many years. Once again I watch the same show, but presented in a different fashion. Congratulations to Bucharest National Opera House for this production and we are certainly waiting for the "Lohengrin" celebration."

Chronicle by Florica Jalbă
Translated by Mihaela Dumitrescu,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu