Bellini – Norma

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Another of the Queensday loot. I bought it because I liked the cover and I didn’t know the opera. I was totally overwhelmed with how much of this I already knew. There was of course Casta Diva, but so many other parts were sounding like I knew them for ages. This is a nice opera if you want to get to know the genre.

Norma was first performed in 1831. It tells the story of the title role, who is a druid priestess in Roman time. She is in love with the roman proconsul Pollione and has two children with him. But as a priestess she is vowed to chastity, so this is not allowed. She discovers Pollione has another lover, the druid priestess Adalgisa (what is it with these priestesses?) and confronts him. She tries to get him back, but he does not want to.

Norma then confesses to the community she has broken her vows, and she gets the death sentence. She gets burnt at the stake together with Pollione, who is found guilty of pursuing innocent druid priestesses. Two deaths in one opera, lots of bel canto arias and beautiful music. What more do you want.

When I first got this, it was sealed. It was never opened, but the record is from 1968. When I opened in 24 years later, the records still were sticking a bit to the inner sleeves, like every new record does. You get that only once, after that it is gone. It is a nice sign you’re actually getting out a record for the very first time. Of course another 29 years later, the box is a bit damaged, but the vinyl is still pristine.

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