Review: Star Singers Lift a Muddled ‘Norma’ at the Metropolitan Opera

By Anthony Tommasini for the New York Times

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Sondra Radvanovsky in the title role of Bellini’s “Norma” at the Metropolitan Opera. Credit Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

Bellini’s 1831 opera “Norma,” which opened the Metropolitan Opera’s season on Monday, is rich in themes that resonate in today’s political and social climate.

Brutal, boorish clashes of culture and religion drive the story. The title character, a high priestess of a druid clan living in Gaul under oppressive Roman occupation, is the unquestioned leader of her community. Even the warriors among her are in awe of Norma’s authority.

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