Bellini's Norma: back in the Netherlands


  • Vincenzo Bellini Norma

The ZaterdagMatinee has an enormous bel canto tradition. Bellini's masterpiece Norma is famous for the 'Casta diva' alone - but how often does the opera really sound in the Netherlands?

Venera Gimadieva as Norma

The central aria of Bellini's Norma is 'Casta diva' (chaste goddess). That aria became a metaphor for opera singing in general and for Maria Callas in particular. But Callas, Giuditta Pasta, Lilli Lehmann and Rosa Ponselle are history. And even though the title role is vocally, technically and psychologically extremely demanding - Lehmann compared it to Wagner's Brünnhilde - it is fantastic to hear new singers taking up this challenge! At the Matinee, it will be Venera Gimadieva, who was heard here earlier in Rimsky-Korsakov's Golden Cockerel. Gimadieva is at home in the lyrical bel canto repertoire, and especially in Bellini's oeuvre.

Verdi and Wagner found their voices with Bellini

Bellini not only wrote beautiful music for the diva, but also for the seconda donna Adalgisa and the tenor role of Pollione. The orchestra is characterised by long 'unendliche' melodies, which give the score progression and momentum. Norma was premiered on 26 December 1831, Boxing Day, at the Scala in Milan. Triumphs followed, and the work was to have a decisive influence on Romantic music of the nineteenth century - including Verdi and Wagner.

Ticket sales NTR Saturday Matinee season 2022-23

From 1 March '22: passe-partouts and series tickets

From 1 June '22: single tickets

Saturday, 10 September 2022
13:00 hours
The Royal Concertgebouw

Large Hall


Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Go to the website
Michele Mariotti (c) Victor Santiago
Michele Mariotti
Netherlands Radio Choir
Go to the website
Klaas-Jan de Groot
Klaas-Jan de Groot
Choir conductor
Venera Gimadieva
Soprano, Norma
Salome Jicia
Soprano, Adalgisa
Piero Pretti
Tenor, Pollione
Riccardo Fassi
Bass, Oroveso
Fabián Lara
Tenor, Flavio
Maria Novella Malfatti
Soprano, Clotilde

Coming soon

Markus Stenz
Saturday, June 1, 2024
NTR Saturday Matinee

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Karina Canellakis
Friday, June 14, 2024
AVROTROS Friday Concert

Final concert: La Damnation de Faust by Berlioz

Wednesday, July 3, 2024
Other series

VriendenLoterij Summer Concerts – Bomsori Kim returns with Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto

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