Hasmik Papian has started the new season as Norma making her debut at Opéra de Montréal (Canada), on September 17th, 2005 (with five more performances until October 1st). After that, she sang a new production of Bellini’s opera at Michigan Opera, Detroit. Go to the “Reviews”-page (see menu top left) to view some of the rave reviews in French and English on both productions. Here is what Opera News wrote on the Detroit Norma:
A Great Night for Norma-Lovers
Ideal casting and uncommonly fine ensemble made October 12 a great night for Norma-lovers. Michigan Opera Theatre general director David DiChiera created this production of Bellini’s masterpiece back in 1989 (an operatic light-year ago) with no less than Joan Sutherland in the title role. DiChiera stored his scenery and costumes in the hope that another worthy cast would come along some day – as it did, for this revival.
Norma has become a signature role for Armenian soprano Hasmik Papian, who sings with unusual tonal warmth – a luscious, golden sound – to her remarkably even scale. She has the grand stylistic grace and sense of line that gives her the ideal vocal profile for the Druid priestess, confirmed in the ethereal “Casta diva”. Papian gave sure vocal balance to Norma’s many ensemble scenes without trying to dominate them – a very rare quality in the divas who sing this difficult role.
John Koopman, Opera News, December 2005