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Richard Sininger
American Record Guide, May 2018

Sonja Yoncheva makes an excellent Norma. She looks almost too young for the role, but at least one can understand the attraction Pollione has felt for her. She has almost no problem with all the coloratura fireworks. Her voice is quite beautiful, and she makes an appealing and dramatically convincing Norma. Whether one prefers her or one of the other Normas of the day is a matter of taste.

Her co-stars are also fine. Sonia Ganassi still has the looks for a convincing Adalgisa, and she sings all the coloratura expertly. The Pollione, Joseph Calleja, is simply excellent—probably the best recorded Pollione. Calleja is not a great actor, but he is a great singer, and his beautiful voice and faultless technique make him the ideal interpreter for this role.

As with most Covent Garden productions, this is conducted ably by Antonio Pappano. The supporting cast and chorus are excellent. Ignore the sets and enjoy the great music. © 2018 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide




Patrick Dillon
Opera News, May 2018

BELLINI, V.: Norma [Opera] (Royal Opera House, 2016) (NTSC) OA1247D
BELLINI, V.: Norma [Opera] (Royal Opera House, 2016) (Blu-ray, HD) OABD7225D

Joseph Calleja brings his uniquely beautiful timbre and easy command of style to Pollione—as well as some uncertainly pitched high notes in his Act I cabaletta. He also acts with conviction. Sonia Ganassi is a long-practiced, vocally adept Adalgisa. A decade senior to both her Norma and her Pollione.

Antonio Pappano conducts a smart, taut account of what’s hardly a conductor’s opera and incidentally supplies, amid the bonus content, one of the release’s pleasures—his charmingly tone-deficient singing of snippets of “Casta diva” and “Ah, bello a me ritorna.” © 2018 Opera News Read complete review



Robert J Farr
MusicWeb International, February 2018

Of the singing one must start with Bulgarian Sonya Yoncheva who was singing this killer role for the first time. She was fortunate to have as her conductor the musical director of Covent Garden on the rostrum and for musical preparation. To say he nursed her through would be an insult to her, but his contribution to her amazing singing and interpretation should not be underestimated. …If she resists the temptations of heavier roles she could grow into an international star of the highest magnitude in this repertoire. As things are, hers was a formidable achievement given the circumstances, but not wholly perfect. I for one will watch her future with interest… As Norma’s rival, Adalgisa, Sonia Ganassi has sung the role many times and it showed in her whole body commitment and facial acting allied to her outstandingly sung interpretation. As Clotilde, the role Sutherland sang to Callas’ Norma in the famous 1953 production, Vlada Borovko exhibited an appealing tone and acted well. © 2018 MusicWeb International Read complete review




Uwe Krusch
Pizzicato, February 2018

This is a generally valuable production of Vincenzo Bellini’s Norma from London’s Royal Opera House. Antonio Pappano’s conducting is powerful and very supporting for the excellent orchestra and a handpicked cast of singers. © 2018 Pizzicato



Robert Thomas
The WholeNote, January 2018

…what music! Pappano is the undisputed conductor-king of the operatic stage. The three principals are in fine form, especially Calleja, as a strong, commanding Pollione, rather than the frequently portrayed wimpy ladykiller. © 2018 The WholeNote Read complete review



Neil Fisher
Gramophone, January 2018

BELLINI, V.: Norma [Opera] (Royal Opera House, 2016) (NTSC) OA1247D
BELLINI, V.: Norma [Opera] (Royal Opera House, 2016) (Blu-ray, HD) OABD7225D

Conducting, Antonio Pappano is in typically robust form.

Calleja is in good voice, a generous and graceful singer who generates genuine pathos. …[Sonia Ganassi] duets with Yoncheva with ardour… © 2018 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



Lynn René Bayley
The Art Music Lounge, November 2017

Yoncheva, Calleja and Pappano, all excellent. Sherratt crummy to start with, but he warms up a bit. © 2017 The Art Music Lounge Read complete review





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