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Have you seen this short snippet of Norma (our Maria) preparing her followers for the day when they will rise up and crush the roman eagle, we are with you priestess Norma!

OMG! Dark Angel, I love you! I had no idea there is a recording with Maria Callas as Norma! And this is even better than the surprise recording from Traviata. Thank you! Thank you!:tiphat:
 

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Callas recorded Norma 9 times, the first one in 1950 and the last one in 1965, in various audio media.
There is no complete recording of Norma with Callas in visual media.
 

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I have some old recordings on DVD: Turandot with Corelli:



And again Corelli:



I love them both in spite of their bad quality video and limited audio. I wonder, if they have/produce anything similar with Maria Callas in a full opera on DVD.
 

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I have some old recordings on DVD: Turandot with Corelli:

I love them both in spite of their bad quality video and limited audio.

I wonder, if they have/produce anything similar with Maria Callas in a full opera on DVD.
No full opera DVD exists.......only extended staged scences of Tosca, Paris 1958 and ROH (covent garden) 1964

 

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I have ordered the Covent Garden from a discount store a while ago, they haven't shipped it yet, I'm starting to get worried. But in any case, my question is: is the Paris one much better, with a younger voice? Is it imperative to have it once one has the Covent Garden one, for someone like me who likes Callas very much but is not completely crazy about her like... I mean... people like you?;) I mean, I know you'll say that for you, it's imperative to have both, but for me, are they similar enough that I'll be fine with only one?
 

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I have ordered the Covent Garden from a discount store a while ago, they haven't shipped it yet, I'm starting to get worried. But in any case, my question is: is the Paris one much better, with a younger voice? Is it imperative to have it once one has the Covent Garden one, for someone like me who likes Callas very much but is not completely crazy about her like... I mean... people like you?;) I mean, I know you'll say that for you, it's imperative to have both, but for me, are they similar enough that I'll be fine with only one?
Yes the paris "toujours" is the best single Callas DVD......not only do you get extended act 2 of Tosca but a recital of many of her famous arias in much better voice than 1964 era Callas

Second best Callas DVD.......1959 Hamburg recital (includes later 1962 Hamburg recital)



1959 Hamburg sample:

 

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The recommendations in the thread are solid. The CD with Callas / Stignani / Filippeschi and the DVD with Caballe / Veasey / Vickers are outstanding.

Just to introduce another wonderful Norma, most probably all of you know about the Callas cancellation at Rome, in '58, and her replacement by Anita Cerquetti, that was singing also Norma at the time, at Naples.

There is a recording of this magical evening, with a superb Cerquetti alongside Corelli and Miriam Pirazzini. If you love Norma, most probably you will love this:


On DVD, I will go for one version with the best Norma singing the role today, in my opinion, the greek soprano Dimitra Theodossiou:



 

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I just picked up a version of Norma that trumps it all. :p

June Anderson (Norma), Daniela Barcellona (Adalgisa), Shin Young Hoon (Pollione), Ildar Abdrazakov (Oroveso), Svetlana Ignatovitch (Clotilde), Leonardo Melani (Flavio). Orchestra Europa Galante (on period instruments), Fabio Biondi (conductor) & Roberto Andò (stage director); 2001.

Many of you might well know the early music band Europa Galante under Fabio Biondi, who normally excels in historically informed performances of Baroque and Classical repertoire. So, when this reputable band puts on a Romatic period opera, it sure does arouse interest amongst HIP fans. Justifiably so. You see, Norma premiered in 1831, not that well into the Romantic relatively speaking; Beethoven's ninth symphony premiered only seven years earlier in 1824. Under Biondi, this opera does not sound like a grand Verdi opera nor a Wagner epic. The transparency of the early Romantic score becomes especially revealing with obvious late Classical structures; original instruments, orchestral and singing pitch, and key. The staging is sensible, what you would expect - Roman - and nothing is distracting, everything subservient to the plot and music, without an egotistical modern stage director asserting his own ugly fingerprints.

I enjoyed it.


 

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Wow, finally a really satisfactory Norma on DVD! I hope I like this performance as much as you did. I'll place it on my wish list (Gergiev's Les Troyens and the new Rusalka are priorities right now, but I've spent too much money recently and I'm trying to pause a bit).
 

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The staging is.... well, it's better to watch and then judge. :)

About the musical results, it's indeed a fascinating Norma. I was thrilled when I listened to this, specially the end of the first act. There are some annoying things, like the continuum or the fact that the singers were not fully buying the brother Biondis' approach, but all in all a very interesting experience. Of course the worst was the performance of the brave, young, but desperately inadequate tenor. Let's hear in his place Gregory Kunde, also with Biondi and Europa Galante:


Of course, there have been other bel canto operas performed with period orchestras. A couple of nice ones:



 

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I just picked up a version of Norma that trumps it all. :p

June Anderson (Norma), Daniela Barcellona (Adalgisa), Shin Young Hoon (Pollione), Ildar Abdrazakov (Oroveso), Svetlana Ignatovitch (Clotilde), Leonardo Melani (Flavio). Orchestra Europa Galante (on period instruments), Fabio Biondi (conductor) & Roberto Andò (stage director); 2001.

Many of you might well know the early music band Europa Galante under Fabio Biondi, who normally excels in historically informed performances of Baroque and Classical repertoire. So, when this reputable band puts on a Romatic period opera, it sure does arouse interest amongst HIP fans. Justifiably so. You see, Norma premiered in 1831, not that well into the Romantic relatively speaking; Beethoven's ninth symphony premiered only seven years earlier in 1824. Under Biondi, this opera does not sound like a grand Verdi opera nor a Wagner epic. The transparency of the early Romantic score becomes especially revealing with obvious late Classical structures; original instruments, orchestral and singing pitch, and key. The staging is sensible, what you would expect - Roman - and nothing is distracting, everything subservient to the plot and music, without an egotistical modern stage director asserting his own ugly fingerprints.

I enjoyed it.


Looks promising from short clip...........unfortunately it is not widescreen format :(

Love the rustic animal pelt wardrobe for the druid priestess, the usual weak spot of modern Normas is the Pollione part (here with Shin Young Moon????) which never come close to measure up to the likes of Corelli, Del Monaco, Vickers etc from past
 

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I have to agree, that no Norma on DVD is perfect.

I managed to fall in love with this opera under imperfect circumstances, i.e. watching the recording of Joan Sutherland in Sidney. She was great, but visually, it needed a lot of suspension of disbelief, she looked like grandmother not only to "her children", but possibly even to Pollione. And I did not really like Pollione and Oroveso. But it worked.

However, if you find a really good Norma, let me know.

(I know some people are into recording with Radvanovsky from MET now, but I am still not satisfied. )
 

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I have to agree, that no Norma on DVD is perfect.

I managed to fall in love with this opera under imperfect circumstances, i.e. watching the recording of Joan Sutherland in Sidney. She was great, but visually, it needed a lot of suspension of disbelief, she looked like grandmother not only to "her children", but possibly even to Pollione. And I did not really like Pollione and Oroveso. But it worked.

However, if you find a really good Norma, let me know.

(I know some people are into recording with Radvanovsky from MET now, but I am still not satisfied. )
On video I like most the one from Orange with Caballé, Vickers and Veasey. It's an old school, traditional production but the singing is spectacular and the outdoor setting works very well.

On CD, the most outstanding performance is the one from La Scala in 1955, with Callas, Simionato and Del Monaco. I've reviewed it on my blog where I have also reviewed Callas's two studio performances and the 1952 Covent Garden one.

If I have these in my collection I don't really feelI need any others.
 

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On video I like most the one from Orange with Caballé, Vickers and Veasey. It's an old school, traditional production but the singing is spectacular and the outdoor setting works very well.

On CD, the most outstanding performance is the one from La Scala in 1955, with Callas, Simionato and Del Monaco. I've reviewed it on my blog where I have also reviewed Callas's two studio performances and the 1952 Covent Garden one.

If I have these in my collection I don't really feelI need any others.
For DVD, Caballe in Orange is possibly the best, but the sound is not always clear, It is not an idiotproof version I would recommend to somebody new to this opera without some disclaimers. Although, is idiotproof even necessary, since I did not need it myself ? Another reservation about the Orange performance I have is, that the timbre of John Vickers is so weird. Is there a name for it ? Raspy ? Or what ? I know, for many, he is the best Pollione ever, but I cannot get used to him. Funny thing is, I have heard him in Samson and Dalila recently, and there, he just sounded like a normal tenor, I still cannot believe it is the same singer.

For audio only, I totally agree with you, I also prefer Callas with del Monaco in 1955.
 

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For DVD, Caballe in Orange is possibly the best, but the sound is not always clear, It is not an idiotproof version I would recommend to somebody new to this opera without some disclaimers. Although, is idiotproof even necessary, since I did not need it myself ? Another reservation about the Orange performance I have is, that the timbre of John Vickers is so weird. Is there a name for it ? Raspy ? Or what ? I know, for many, he is the best Pollione ever, but I cannot get used to him. Funny thing is, I have heard him in Samson and Dalila recently, and there, he just sounded like a normal tenor, I still cannot believe it is the same singer.

For audio only, I totally agree with you, I also prefer Callas with del Monaco in 1955.
Vickers is one of my favourite tenors, so I like him in the role.

Did you know that Callas wanted him to sing Pollione for her final Normas in Paris, but he declined, saying he couldn't sing the top C in his aria. You will note that he omits the note in Orange, so maybe he regretted his decision.
 

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Vickers is one of my favourite tenors, so I like him in the role.

Did you know that Callas wanted him to sing Pollione for her final Normas in Paris, but he declined, saying he couldn't sing the top C in his aria. You will note that he omits the note in Orange, so maybe he regretted his decision.
Yes, I can believe, he probably regretted it later.

The first Pollione was more like barritone and sung the high C in falsetto. Do you think, the tenors, which cut high C away could sing it in falsetto, if they tried ?
 
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