New “Norma”: “Compelling,” “Muddled”

Anthony Tommasini reviews a new production of “Norma,” which last night opened the season at the Met: ‘[David] McVicar has given the Met some brilliant productions in recent years, especially his daffy yet revelatory staging of Handel’s “Giulio Cesare.” But this “Norma” seems somewhat muddled. His proven ability to draw out strong performances from singers serves him well, though, at least with the two artists who matter most: the soprano Sondra Radvanovsky as Norma; and the mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato as Adalgisa, a novice druid priestess, who unwittingly becomes Norma’s hated rival in love, and then, in a powerful twist, her most devout friend. Both singers give their all in affecting performances.’

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