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

Stéphane Denève
Sunday, December 10, 2023
The Sunday Morning Concert

Fauré's Requiem by the Great Broadcasting Choir

Carolin Widmann
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NTR Saturday Matinee

Ligeti central: from Atmosphères to Violin Concerto

Friday, December 22, 2023
AVROTROS Friday Concert

AVROTROS Christmas Concert

Saturday, December 23, 2023

NPO Radio 4 Christmas concert

Unsuk Chin
Saturday, January 13, 2024
NTR Saturday Matinee

Orchestral fireworks by Chin and Stravinsky

Karina Canellakis (c) Marco Borggreve
Thursday, January 18, 2024
Other series

Pieces of Tomorrow - Music of Leonard Bernstein

Karina Canellakis - Photo23 Eduardus Lee
Friday, January 19, 2024
AVROTROS Friday Concert

Karina Canellakis with an American program

Sunday, January 21, 2024
The Sunday Morning Concert

Symphonic dances from West Side Story - Barnatan plays Gershwin

Simone Lamsma
Saturday, January 27, 2024
NTR Saturday Matinee

Lamsma/Vänskä: dream duo in Nielsen's Violin Concerto

Hannes Minnaar
Friday, February 2, 2024
AVROTROS Friday Concert

Hannes Minnaar with Brahms' Second Piano Concerto

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