Oroveso with a golden collar in front of the Druids with branches sticking out their back

Yesterday, despite the thick snow, we went to see Norma at the Zürich Opera. Last time I went to the Opera was six years ago, for Aida.

The mise en scène was interesting, with very stiff and formal poses and a set that looked like something between a modern art installation and a science fiction setting. The costumes somehow reminded me of the Star Wars prequels. Still this worked, and I think it was a good choice, balancing Bellini’s music which can be a bit pompous.

I really loved the duets between Norma and Adalgisa, but I actually enjoyed the whole opera and was moved by all the arie, it was really an astounding performance, which I recommend heartily.

The show features both german and english super-titles (they are above the scene), I found them to be in stark contrast with each other, where the german text felt very literary and dramatic, and quite close to the bits of Italian I could parse. The english translation was really plain, often with precise words replaced by more generic ones. So if you can, read the german text…

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