Nelly Miricioiu, the ideal " Norma " of the nineties
Vincenzo Bellini : Norma
Nelly Miricioiu (Norma), Jeanne Piland
(Aldagisa), Hubert Delamboye (Pollione), Stephen Milling
(Oroveso), Corinne Romijn (Clotilde), Dan Chamandy (Flavio)
Philips Philharmonisch Koor and Het
Brabants Orkest, Julian Reynolds (conductor)
Real Norma are rare, especially those days, and it is now a sure thing that Nelly Miricioiu is by far the best interpret of the role today. 1999 has been a special year allowing her to develop her conception of the role, first in Amsterdam in january, then, on stage in Roma (april) and Athens (may), and now in Eindhoven where she couldn’t have sing and act better in this complex and demanding part.
The voice sounded fresh, free, with a wonderful top and now a very interesting use of the low notes and the hard tessitura seemed so easy for her. She ended the performance with absolutely no sign of tireness !
It is difficult to choose which moment was the best : was is " Casta Diva " with its perfect legato, the sweetness of the timbre, the poetic inflexions and the delicate ornementation ? Or was it the cabaletta " Ah ! bello a me ritorna " with its fearless coloraturas ? Or the final scene of the first act (" Ei !…Pollion ! ! ", " Tremi tu… ")? Or the poignancy of " Son miei figli ", the beauty of the duet " Mira , o Norma " ? No, maybe the high point was the finale with the miraculous alternance of strong and soft (memorable " Son Io ") singing, the clever dramatic instinct which leaves the audience full of tears. Fortunately more Normas are on her schedulde : next year at London Covent Garden and again, after her triumph last april, in Roma.
The rest of the cast also gave satisfactions, especially with a real surprise from Hubert Delamboye, usually heard in the german repertory, singing with style, legato and musicality, outclassing usual italian tenors thinking only of volume.
Jeanne Piland is a nice Aldagisa, a bit tired in the second act. Stephen Milling is a real discorvery with a firm and beautiful bass voice.
The chorus could have been more disciplined ; the orchestra was conducted with a winning energy by Julian Reynolds, although missing a bit of subtility.
The very concentrated audience made a triumph of the performance, especially cheering loudly the exceptional Nelly Miricioiu.
There’s a very interesting website about Nelly Miricioiu :