Vincenzo Bellini’s 1831 opera “Norma” is the epitome of the bel canto genre: It’s all about the singing — and the drama that the singing conveys.
For its first “Norma,” Winter Opera St. Louis focused on the singing, assembling a fine cast. It was led by soprano Christine Lyons, who looked and sounded exquisite in the title role. She has the presence and dramatic conviction for the priestess, and excellent technique; she held the audience’s attention and sympathy.
Her Adalgisa was Italian mezzo-soprano (and Winter Opera’s chorus master) Benedetta Orsi. Orsi has an enormous instrument, solid through most of its range but a little prone to imprecision on the high notes; she has great presence and was thoroughly convincing. Her scenes with Lyons were high points of the evening.
Conductor Darwin Aquino had the orchestra sounding great from the first measures of the overture and generally maintained a good balance between stage and pit.
Read the full story on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Winter Opera presents a well-sung ‘Norma’