“Not only musically, but also in the staging the main accent was on the three main characters. Also from this perspective the theatre’s direction did a great job, being able to win for this production three perfectly suitable personalities and voices.
The role of Norma has been waiting for Klára Kolonits already for a time, but the result is beyond the most optimistic expectations. She realises the role’s incredible complexity with implicit naturalness. There is Norma herself on the stage in her concentrated presence, which nowadays can be attributed to very few. The staging of Duffaut seems to be created directly for Kolonits. That the part, spread among two-and-a-half octaves, will be executed without any strain, was to be counted on. That the interpretation will be focused on the sensitivities of the character’s soul, we could bet for sure. That the singer will show us the whole spectrum of human emotions from tender love up to deadly hate, we knew in advance too. But we got more than that, much more, we got a depth reaching more than technical perfection
When Adalgisa confesses her “sin” to Norma, the high priestess in the interpretation of Kolonits is experiencing very deeply all the impulses of the loving young creature, and listening to them being told by Adalgisa, she is going again through the stages of her own love. We can sense that the two priestesses are twin souls, and if Norma wasn’t the older one, the story could go the other way around as well. As the situation unfolds itself (which actually means it getting more complicated), Norma fights for her love with all weapons: despairing and shrieking, cursing and threatening, humiliating, even begging. And during all this process she remains what she always used to be for the druid community: an impervious statue, the unreachable ideal, earthly personification of their god. Kolonits portrays all this with endless consequence, not merely believable, but deeply engaging the audience. When the waves close above her head, when she is immersed in the thoughts of murdering her children, the spectators breathlessly partecipate in the scene.
The catharsis at the end of the piece can be so powerful exactly because we all understand (the druid community or a wanderer from the twenty-first century on the theatre balcony), that this is the only was for Norma and Pollione to be forever united and purified, too. We understand – and even feel jealous for the couple walking happily towards the stack.”
February 11th 2018., Café Momus, Antal z. Tóth
“A success or collapse of a Norma performance depends on the title character. Luckily Csokonai Theatre in Debrecen bulit up their new Norma on a multifaceted coloratura soprano, who – despite not singing in the world’s greatest opera theatres – became for me one of the most important interpreters of the part.
Klára Kolonits is spotless not only in the ethereal coloraturas, but her soprano doesn’t loose any of its power in the lower registers either, she portrays the passionate depths with the same artistic credibility as the lyrical passages in higher tessitura. The artists doesn’t stop at the romantic interpretation of Norma’s endless emotional palette: in the Norma-Adalgisa scene her change from understanding, loving woman to a wounded, jealous fury is striking.
She portrayed the opera’s finale amazingly: the unsure, guilty, vengeful priestess on the verge of madness. There is no typical mad scene in the opera, however the main character, crushed by her emotional experiences is close to madness too – and in the end, sacrificing herself instead of her rival, she wins the salvation of her earthly sins. It can’t be an easy task to portray such extremes on stage, but for Klára Kolonits this is not an issue either.
Casta diva radiates with a wonderful intimacy, and as always the artist uses the aria’s ornaments to express the emotional content of the part, and she performs all details of the score with such a naturalness, as only the greatest are able to. It was worth to play this piece in our little homeland again, now that we have a singer who has both vocal and stage gifts to be successful in this difficult role.”
February 7th 2018., Melpomené, Zoltán Péter
“Klara Kolonits shines on the neutral stage in such a natural way, as I have not experienced it even with the most famous role representatives; one honestly wishes her a possibility to introduce herself on further stages with her exquisite Norma à la Devia. She reigns upon the rules of both dramatic and ornamental singing in a stupendous manner, every note is evenly pure and concentrated, the timbre lush, the sound soft and full. The only wish one may have is for her to add yet another ornaments to “Ah, bello a me ritorna”. The voice is not large on its own, but radiant and resonating, thus the poetic moments seem to be fitting her a little more than the dramatic attacks, but Kolonits sings with passion, technical sovereignty, apparently inexhaustible reserves and maintains noble voice projection all the way to the finale.”
May 2018, OperaLounge, Rolf Fath
“It’s impossible to write anything new about Klára Kolonits. She steps onto a handkerchief and magically expands it into a soccer field. Next to Gruberova, she’s the great Norma of our times. A legendary show has been born in Debrecen.”
February 26th 2018, Café Momus, Heiner Lajos
“The premiere was interrupted by applause and loud bravos after several arias – which wasn’t accidental, as three splendid voices soared into the auditorium of Csokonai Theatre: Klára Kolonits sang Norma with aplomb.”
February 3rd 2018., DeHír.hu, Miklós Szénási
“The main roles all have very high vocal demands. Especially the roles of Norma and Adalgisa require great virtuosity, dramatic beauty and high lyrical phrases. The theatre engaged two wonderful artists for these roles: Klára Kolonits and Gabriella Balga.”
January 30th 2018., Debreceni Nap