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Norma

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Giulia Grisi, the first Adalgisa, in an engraving by Alexandre Lacauchie

Norma is a tragic Italian opera in two acts with words by Felice Romani and music by Vincenzo Bellini. The opera is based on Norma, or The Infanticide by Alexandre Soumet. It was first performed at La Scala on 26 December 1831.

The opera tells of a Druid priestess who breaks her vows and gives birth to two children of a Roman officer. When he makes plans to return to Rome and marry another, she plots revenge.

The first Norma was Giuditta Pasta. Famous modern Normas include Maria Callas and Dame Joan Sutherland. The aria "Casta diva" is one of the most famous arias for soprano in opera.


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