Venue Details

53 Star Starred
Modell Performing Arts Center at The Lyric
140 West Mount Royal Avenue Baltimore, MD 21201
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21 events
17 reviews
36 stars
Dining venues are within walking distance but not hard by.
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21 events
17 reviews
36 stars
The parking garage behind the theater is secure, but expect a long wait exiting.
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Reviews & Ratings

"Norma" At Lyric Opera House
3 ratings
5.0 average rating
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15 events
7 reviews
1 stars
attended Nov 15 2008

Fantastic performance, especially by Ruth Ann Swenson. Truly beautiful singing. Orchestra and conducting were superb. Seat was aisle in the Grand Tier! Well worth the drive from Washington to Baltimore!

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More Information


A Druid priestess contracts Roman fever after stepping under the mistletoe with a Roman centurion. Norma has secretly borne two children by the Roman enemy Pollione. His dalliance with her fellow priestess Adalgisa sets off a series of political and familial crises, culminating in Norma’s fiery destruction.

The title role is considered one of the most demanding in the bel canto repertoire. From the moment Norma takes the stage, and begins the glorious prayer “Casta Diva”, she dominates the remainder of the opera. What follows are moving duets with both Adalgisa and her lover Pollione; arias that convey her anguish over the future of her children and the final acceptance of her fate, all punctuated by the powerful chorus of Druids.

Hasmik Papian, who earned critical acclaim for her portrayal of Norma throughout Europe and at the Washington National Opera, returns to the BOC where she first performed the role in the United States in 1998. She appears regularly at the Vienna State Opera, La Scala Milan, the Metropolitan Opera and San Francisco Opera. Ruth Ann Swenson, whose creamy coloratura has graced roles such as Semele, The Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro, Maria Stuarda and Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare, sings the role of Adalgisa.

American tenor Frank Porretta will portray the Roman centurion Pollione. Porretta’s powerful tenor was heard at the Lyric Opera House in _Turandot, Tosca and Il Trovatore_. Maestro Christian Badea leads the all-star cast. The production will be designed and directed by the renowned design of Roberto Oswald and Anibal Lapiz.

About the Ticket Supplier: Baltimore Opera Company

***Baltimore Opera closed in March 2009***

The Baltimore area's first operatic performance took place in 1752 when a touring company presented The Beggar's Opera, followed a few years later by the American premier of Pergolesi's La Serva Padrona. During the 19th century traveling opera companies made Baltimore a regular stop on the itinerary, giving the city its first performances of works such as Faust, La Sonnambula, and Norma featuring divas such as Clara Kellogg, Marcella Sembrich and "The Swedish Nightingale" herself, Jenny Lind, who was exuberantly feted from her hotel window on Howard Street.

"Imported" opera thus became a Baltimore staple, until the Martinet School of Opera was founded in 1924, performing at the Maryland Casualty Auditorium on West 40th Street (now the Rotunda Shopping Center). This organization evolved into the Baltimore Civic Opera Company, incorporated in 1950 with the great American diva, Rosa Ponselle, as Artistic Director. It was this organization that became the present Baltimore Opera Company.

From the early performance of The Beggar's Opera, to Rosa Ponselle's Aïda in the Maryland Casualty Auditorium, to the spectacular new American opera Dead Man Walking, opera in Baltimore continues to thrive.