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Pollione: Gregory Kunde
Oroveso: Giacomo Prestia
Norma: Chiara Taigi
Adalgisa: Irina Lungu
Clotilde: Katia Lytting
Flavio: Massimiliano Chiarolla
The Chorus of Francesco Cilea, directed by Bruno Tirotta
The Festival Euro Mediterraneo Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Marco Guidarini
Director: Enrico Castiglione
Costumes: Sonia Cammarata
Sets: Enrico Castiglione
In a forest, the Druids gather around the altar of their god Irminsul. Under the guidance of priest Oroveso, they pray to be strong enough to rebel against the invading Romans. Once the Druids have left, the Roman proconsul Pollione confides in his aide that he no longer loves Norma, Oroveso’s daughter and a Druid high priestess, even though she has secretly given birth to his two sons. He has fallen in love with the young novice priestess, Adalgisa. Surrounded by her followers, Norma sends a prayer of peace to the Moon. Then, in order to protect her beloved Pollione, she lies to her congregation, issuing the false prophesy that Rome will fall through its own internal weakness, thus making the Druid attack unnecessary.
Adalgisa asks the gods to give her the strength to resist Pollione, but nonetheless he persuades her to run away to Rome with him. Alone, Norma fears that Pollione plans to leave her and their children for another woman, but does not know the name of her rival. Adalgisa arrives, and confesses to Norma that she has taken a lover, violating her priestly vows and committing treason by loving an enemy of the Druids. At first Norma is sympathetic, remembering her own covert transgressions, but soon comprehends that Adalgisa is the new object of Pollione’s affections. When Adalgisa realizes that Norma and Pollione are involved romantically with each other, she rejects Pollione, saying that she would rather die than take him away from Norma.
That night, dagger in hand, Norma considers killing her sons in their sleep to prevent them from falling into their father’s hands. When she realizes that she could never murder them, she asks Adalgisa to go to Rome with Pollione, take her children, and be a mother to her children in her place. Adalgisa refuses to be disloyal to Norma, and goes to Pollione to remind him to his duty toward Norma. The Druids hear from Oroveso that Pollione is being replaced by a crueler commander. Even though Oroveso rages at Rome’s hateful bondage he also recommends submission for the moment, so as to make the eventual revolt more certain of success. At the temple, Norma learns that Pollione refused to listen to Adalgisa’s intercession on her behalf. Infuriated, the priestess now incites her people toward immediate, open revolt. Pollione, while attempting to abduct Adalgisa, has been taken prisoner. Oroveso needs to sacrifice a victim to the gods and the choice falls naturally on Pollione. Norma meets privately with Pollione, and offers to spare his life if he will give up Adalgisa and love her once again. He refuses, so Norma tells the Druids to prepare a pyre for the human sacrifice: one of the priestesses, she explains, has broken her vows and must die. Pollione expects her to name Adalgisa, but Norma admits that she herself is the guilty one. Inspired by her bravery, Pollione chooses to die with the woman he loved, then wronged, and now loves again. After begging Oroveso to watch over her children, Norma leads her lover to the pyre while the crowd sends prayers to the gods.
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