Norma Odeon Herodes Athens Festival National Opera
Norma at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus. Photograph: Stefanos/courtesy of GNO

NORMA at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus

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Where: Odeon of Herodes Atticus
When: 4, 5, 7, 8 June 2019
Why Go: See this tragic and powerful opera on an iconic stage

Norma, returns to the stage of the Odeon of Herodes Atticus in Athens presented by the Greek National Opera (GNO) as part of the 2019 Athens and Epidaurus Festival. This opera, by Vincenzo Bellini, was one of the first to be presented in Athens as a newly formed state in 1837.

In the GNO’s long history, the role of Norma has been interpreted by renowned Greek singers such as Maria Callas in 1960 at the theatre of ancient Epidaurus and Elena Soulioti in 1968 at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus.

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Norma Odeon Herodes Athens Festival National Opera Callas

The GNO presented Norma in 1960 with Maria Callas in the title role. Photograph: courtesy of GNO

The love triangle between the perjured high priestess of the Druids, her young colleague and the roman proconsul, will be brought back to life by Spanish director Carlus Padrissa, one of the six artistic directors of the famous collective ‘La Fura dels Baus’ from Barcelona.

Norma is a tragedy in two acts that take place in 50 BC, Gaul. It features Bellini’s signature long melodies and is considered a masterpiece of the bel canto genre, that is defined by a highly expressive style of singing.

Padrissa notes among the unforgettable moments of this opera, the “Casta diva” is perhaps the most popular soprano aria in the history of music.

Act 1: A Gathering of Druids

Act 2: Norma Changes her mind

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Norma Odeon Herodes Athens Festival National Opera Crowd

A full house at the Odeon for the Greek National Opera at last year’s Athens & Epidaurus Festival. Photograph: Thomas Daskalakis/courtesy of GNO

ABOUT: La Fura dels Baus

From the moment it was founded in 1979 to today, La Fura dels Baus have been engaged in all forms of performing arts including street theatre, digital theatre, the opening ceremony of the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games along with a long list of opera productions. They are renowned for abolishing the limits between the stage and audience pursuing new ways of expression. La Fura dels Baus have collaborated with a long list of opera houses around the world including, Opéra National de Paris, Royal Opera House (Covent Garden, London) and many others.

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CAST AND CREDITS FOR NORMA

A co-production with La Fura dels Baus and the GNO

With the GNO Orchestra, Chorus and soloists

In the main roles, the distinguished Italian soprano Carmen Giannattasio (Norma), Cellia Costea (Adalgisa) and tassos Apostolou (Oroveso)

Conductor: Georgios Balatsinos

Director: Carlus Padrissa + La Fura dels Baus

Costumes: Chu Uroz

Chorus Master: Agathangelos Georgakatos

 

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