Norma Odeon Herodes Athens

NORMA at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus

Where: Odeon of Herodes Atticus
When: 28 & 30 August 2023
Why Go: See this tragic and powerful opera on an iconic stage

Vincenzo Bellini’s Norma, returns to the stage of the Odeon of Herodes Atticus (Herodeon), having been one of the first opera’s to be presented in Athens as a newly formed state in 1837.

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 Herodeon.

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 famous French director, Tom Wolfe and conducted by Eugene Kohn.

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. The “Casta diva” is perhaps the most popular soprano aria in the history of music.

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

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

Dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the birth of Maria Callas, under the auspices of the Paris-based Maria Callas Foundation, which was co-founded in 2017 by close friends and collaborators of La Divina and Tom Wolfe and is today the largest international organization aiming to defend and promote the life of the great soprano.

Norma Odeon Athens Festival Tickets


In the main roles, the distinguished Lebanese-Canadian soprano Joyce El-Khoury (Norma), Greek tenor Marios Frangoulis (Pollione) and American soprano, Theresa Carlomagno (Adalgisa).

Eugene Kohn accompanied Maria Callas on the piano during her Masterclass at the Juilliard school in New York in 1971 and was a student of the legendary conductor Fausto Cleva. In his unique career, he has conducted some of the most historic opera stars such as Renata Tebaldi, Luciano Pavarotti and Placido Domingo. The artistic team is completed by the great choreographer Ersi Pitta and the leading Greek set designer and costume designer Yiannis Metzikof and set designer David Negrin. The Mixed Choir “Fons Musicalis” under the direction of Kostis Konstandaras participates.


The spectacular open-air theatre of the Odeon Herodes Atticus provides a magical setting beneath the slopes of the Acropolis. The marble auditorium seats 4680 people and has hosted legendary performances by Frank Sinatra, Maria Callas and Luciano Pavarotti to name a few.

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