Norma (Théâtre Antique d'Orange) (1974)

Genres - Music, Theater  |   Sub-Genres - Opera  |   Run Time - 161 min.  |   Countries - France  |  
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Oroveso, a Druid High Priest, gathers his people in a sacred forest and prays to their gods for help in vanquishing the Romans who have taken over Gaul. Unbeknownst to Oroveso, his daughter, Norma, a High Priestess, has for some time been the lover of Pollione, the leader of the Romans; she has, in fact, not only broken her sacred vow of chastity but has borne two children to the warrior. Norma uses her position to dissuade the Gauls from attacking the Romans, claiming that the gods have told her that the time is not favorable. Norma has also learned that Pollione has become interested in another woman, although her identity is unknown. That woman is Adalgisa, a young novice, who is unaware of the relationship between her new lover and Norma. When the truth is revealed, Adalgisa rejects Pollione, who still intends to take her back to Rome with him by force. The rejected Norma considers killing her own children, who may otherwise also be forced to go to Rome with their father. She cannot go through with this, and Adalgisa tries to intercede with Pollione on Norma's behalf, but to no avail. Furious, Norma tells the Gauls that the gods have told her that they now must strike against the enemy. Pollione is captured, and Norma offers to save his life if he will give up his new lover. When he refuses, Norma informs that Gauls that she has brought dishonor upon the temple and that it is she, not Pollione, that must be put to death. Moved by her sacrifice, Pollione chooses to die alongside her.