Muni-NORMA 2
Muni-NORMA 3
Muni-NORMA 10

photos courtesy of Philip Groshong

NORMA by Vincenzo Bellini
Conductor:  Edoardo Müller, Roberto Abbado, Placido Domingo, Marco Zambelli
Cast:  Vaness/Eaglen/Flanigan, Mentzer/ Jepson,  Cura/Sylvester/Volonté, Cox/ Colombara/ Peterson
Production:  J. Conklin (scenery/clothes), D. Schuler/T. C. Hase (lighting), J. Geier (hair/make-up)

The Dallas Opera closes its season with a gorgeously sung, and fantastic looking, production of Bellini’s Norma. The static nature of this opera, just a series of encounters, makes the director’s job difficult, but director Nic Muni keeps the stage picture involving without everyone running all over the place.”
Gregory Sullivan Isaacs, Theater Jones

The Dallas Opera opened a surprisingly dynamic production of Nic Muni’s Norma on April 21. The production, originally staged at Cincinnati Opera in 2003, succeeded in large part due to the musical and dramatic nuance contributed by all parties involved
-Rebecca Dowd Geoffroy-Schwinden, Opera News

A spectacular Norma from Dallas Opera. The little that actually happens in Norma challenges the stage director to create enough movement to avoid visual stasis. Nic Muni successfully accomplishes that here.”
– Scott Cantrell, The Dallas Morning News

“…a masterful production of the bel canto opera Norma.”
Monica Smart, Dallas Observer

“…a superbly executed triumph that melds technical mastery and gut-wrenching emotion. The production directed by Nic Muni exemplifies why you should go in the first place. Despite the raging passions and a plot that is pure soap opera, the performers invest themselves so deeply into their roles that this edition never seems to go over the top into melodrama.”
Bill Hirschman, The Sun Sentinel

For its first presentation of Bellini’s Norma in twenty-five years, Florida Grand Opera chose the solid production directed by Nicholas Muni and designed by John Conklin, previously seen in Seattle (1994), Houston and Los Angeles (1996) and Cincinnati (2003). Muni’s direction adroitly and efficiently emphasized the stress of a long Roman occupation, in which each side challenges the other by its very presence. Muni’s treatment of the druid’s choruses in this traditional, historically correct production is particularly effective; he directs the group action with precision and incorporates surprising details, such as Adalgisa discreetly committing suicide during the last scene.
Jean Francois Lejeune, Opera News

Florida Grand Opera has effectively cast and produced one of the most difficult and monumental works in the operatic literature. Lovers of bel canto and grand opera should not miss the opportunity to see this fine production. Nic Muni’s staging captures the opera’s grandeur and the dramatic confrontations of the leading characters in striking tableaux.”
Lawrence Budmen, South Florida Classical Review

“Working off a strong directorial vision from Nic Muni, FGO’s Norma features standout vocal work from its four chief singers, in one of the most demanding operas of this genre. Muni’s stage direction stresses the defiance of the Druids. The Wagner addition adds a greater sense of energy that Muni is able to draw on by giving Oroveso and his company vigorous action; and the Adalgisa suicide is a shocking but effective touch; this is one of the most animated mountings of the opera I’ve seen.”
Greg Stepanich, Palm Beach Arts

“The production by stage director Nicholas Muni, set and costume designer John Conklin and lighting designer Duane Schuler is awesomely successful. Near the rear of the stage a huge pile of rubble is all that is left of what was obviously once a magnificent Druid temple. Rough but powerful. A tremendous stroke is the descent of a gigantic black moon, for the final scene This comes close to filling the stage and certainly imparts a sense of impending disaster.”
Olin Chism, Dallas Morning News (April, 1996)

“This was a very personal, touchingly human interpretation with great interest in the small details…Nicholas Muni created this production some years ago for Seattle Opera. For Lauren Flanigan it has been re-studied. It is loaded with penetrating insights and explanations of personal relationships, with subtle historical references. The psychological power of Norma over her Druid subjects, and the relationship of Pollione and his children, were particularly well-handled.”
Charles Parsons, OPERA NEWS (October, 2003)

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