Two Girls for Every Guy.
When in Prague, check out the Czechs. Which means its off to the opera. Dear cousin Irena has once again gone beyond the call of duty and got us a box at the State Opera to see Bellini’s Norma. While we are there other cousins Jikta and Sonya appear and they introduce us to the opera’s producer Don King. He in turn introduces us to his Husband. Bless,it reminds that gays love the over dramatic, over the top,drama , costume and emotion of opera. Not to mention the divas, did you see what she was wearing, and her hair…. And sure enough all around are well dressed serious young male couples in deep conversation.
And when it comes to over the top emotion and drama, pure ludicrous enjoyment and a complete suspension of the horrible real world, even by operatic standards Norma takes a lot of beating.
She is the high priestess of a tribe in Gaul. Her father the tribal chief is waiting for a sign to attack the Romans. She is loath to give it as she is the mother of the Roman consuls children. But! Ha!
The Roman consul loves another. And the other is none other than another of the temple’s hand maidens. Norma threatens to kill the children. The other girl threatens to have nothing more to do with him. The two women become friends. Norma begs his return. But he loves only one. He must have her.
He tries to take her from the temple. The tribe is getting twitchy ,they want blood. They catch the Roman. But Norma says it is she that must be sacrificed. The Roman realises the supreme gesture of what she is offering, his heart melts and together they go to the stake,united as all lovers must be at their fiery end.
For many years Norma was not a fashionable opera but the force of personality and dramatic persona of Maria Callas ,the prima donna assoluta, changed that.
Frankly not a dull moment and in the small but perfectly formed Prague Opera House an absolute joy. Bravo!
Listen to Maria Callas sing Casa Diva from Norma