For the first time since 1949, La Monnaie has brought Norma to the stage. For this return to the stage, intendant Peter de Caluwe asked the Flemish director Christophe Coppens to direct the production and Sally Matthews to perform the title role, surely the most important role debut of her career so far in one of the most complete and complex roles in the repertoire.
Watch the full production now streaming!
The fact that this successful production was stopped after only six of the nine planned performances caused great heartache to the cast, crew, and audience alike. Director Christophe Coppens suggests how Norma's secret double life of deep love and jealousy, and her struggle with a narrow and oppressive society, have a very contemporary resonance. He presents the story in a context of dogmatic fanaticism, in a world made of concrete where all traces of nature have disappeared.
For his debut at La Monnaie, conductor Sesto Quatrini worked on a specific belcanto sound with the orchestra and sculpted the roles in very close cooperation with the cast that includes two of our MM Ambassadors, Enea Scala, and Sally Matthews. Brussels audiences have acclaimed Matthews in many role debuts since 2009, including Daphne and Madeleine (Strauss), Jenůfa (Janáček) and upcoming Marschallin (Der Rosenkavalier, Strauss). Her debut as Norma might come as a surprise, but we are convinced that once you heard and seen her in this production you will see how versatile she continues to be in what can be considered new repertoire for her.
Enea Scala (Pollione) and Raffaella Lupinacci (Adalgisa), both debuting their roles, also have a longstanding relationship with the house with many upcoming engagements in coming seasons and both represent the casting policy of the house, offering debuts to upcoming young stars.