At 30, Bellini wrote Norma. It became his greatest achievement and is now regarded as an example of the supreme height of the Bel Canto tradition. The title role is generally considered one of the most difficult in the soprano repertoire and includes the famous Aria Casta Diva.
Set in Gaul, at the time of Ancient Rome, Norma tells the story of the tragic love triangle between the aging priestess Norma, the Roman proconsul Pollione and his new love, the young temple Virgin Adalgisa. At the end of the Opera, desperate after having been abandoned by the man she loves, Norma decides to kill herself; Pollione, struck by her devotion, decides to join her on the pyre and burn to death at her side.
This 2008 production from Teatro Comunale di Bologna marked International star soprano Daniela Dessì's debut in the title role; the critics raved unanimously about her performance.
"In her debut as Norma, Dessì won the game… her Norma is vocally convincing and emotionally very touching" (Opera Chic).
"In Bologna [Kate Aldrich] is a beautifully burnished Adalgisa, perfectly holding her own opposite one of the great singers of today, Daniela Dessì (…) attacking her part with confidence, sporting a beautifully burnished voice." (Opera Chic)
This dynamic duo of leading ladies fires up the stage with heartbreaking performances, making this Norma from Teatro Comunale di Bologna one of the most talked about and must-see productions of Italy's 2008 Operatic Season.