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Norma at the Crypt of the Peterskirche

About the Event

Bellini's masterpiece demands the highest vocal artistry and offers everything one might expect from great opera: love, jealousy, power — all human conflicts. Deep beneath St. Peter's Church in Vienna, the mystical atmosphere of this outstanding opera intensifies.
Slightly shortened and with piano accompaniment, one experiences 'Norma' completely concentrated on the essentials in its purest form.
OPER in der KRYPTA stands for authentic, honest opera craftsmanship and guarantees the original as it was written. Established as the smallest opera theater in Austria, the performances at KRYPTA captivate with their intensity and high quality.
The crypt is pleasantly tempered at any time of year.

Act 1.
In Roman‐occupied Gaul, the Gaulish warriors are waiting for a hint from their druids that their moon goddess is supporting the fight against the invaders. The priestess Norma, however, proclaims that the time has not yet come. But Norma is torn inside. For a long time she has been the secret lover of the Roman Pollione. They are united by two sons. But Pollione has fallen in love with another Gaul, the novice Adalgisa. He plans to flee with her. When Norma meets both of them, she swears eternal revenge on him.

Act 2
Norma tries to kill both sons, but her motherly love prevents the terrible deed. She demands that Adalgisa go to Rome together with Pollione and the boys. But Adalgisa wants to reunite Norma and Pollione. Pollione refuses to do so and refuses. Embittered, Norma then gives the signal to fight the Romans.
Through a sacrifice, the Gauls hope to win the battle. They capture Pollione, who has dishonored their sanctuary. The latter refuses to give up Adalgisa, even when Norma threatens him to kill their common sons and sacrifice Adalgisa in the fire.
Norma has a funeral pyre built. This is the punishment for a priestess who has broken the commandment of chastity. Asked about the culprit, she frees herself from her conscience and gives her own name.
She leaves the welfare of her children in the hands of Oroveso and calmly meets her end. Overwhelmed, and inflamed by new love, Pollione follows her to her death.

Practical Information

The 'Opera in the Crypt' series is a unique form of presenting opera at its very essence. With piano accompaniment, talented singers in costumes perform the works in the exceptional, intimate atmosphere of the crypt under St. Peter's Church. Through the short distance between audience and musicians you can experience opera in a way you have never heard or seen it before.

Cast / Production

Musical direction – Maximilian Schamschula
Norma — Maria Kahry
Adalgisa — Eli Our
Pollione — Sergio Tallo‐Torres
Oroveso – Minsoo Ahn

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