As if they did not know it by heart, as if they could not sing it themselves, note by note, volatina by volatina, the audience of the Messina theatre received Norma’s cavatina “Casta Diva” with a wave of collective emotion and intense gratitude for having once again the chance to come into contact with a timeless piece of artistic perfection, which, from 1831, slips effortlessly into our troubled world today and shows that almost two centuries have passed without affecting this melody, so beautiful that it seems not to have been written by a man made of flesh and bone like everyone else. When Klára Kolonits invokes – beautifully – ‘Casta Diva, che inargenti queste sacre, antiche piante… ” , the myth of Medea (Norma’s model) has undergone a thousand distortions, from Euripides onwards, guilty and innocent reinterpretations of the figure, to the story of the witch of Colchis in her various incarnations (Euripides, Pausanias, Ovid, Seneca, only in Greco-Roman antiquity), the considerable indifference of today’s literate public to the clairvoyance of mistletoe (there are now stock quotes for this which are more reliable), and they all allow themselves to be gently embraced by the divine length of Bellini’s phrases.
The gift of “a brief moment of immortality” is enhanced by the excellent overall quality of the performance. Klara Kolonits (Norma) has a unique voice; her beautiful core and excellent musical taste characterise every moment where the singing veers towards the high notes: her singing is precise and clear, especially where the voice softens to become a vibrant seismograph of emotion. Kolonits’s low register is also good, which he uses to express his tragic, passionate Norma’s spiritual world in contrast to the angelic, innocent Adalgisa.
2023 October 3th., wanderersite.com
At the premiere in Messina, the audience appreciated the musical purity of the opera, the poetry of the text from the orchestral prelude to the famous “Casta Diva”. The protagonist’s voice is richly phrased and vocally refined, both in the dialogues with Adalgisa and in the strong, powerful choral scenes. Sophisticated staging embraces high-quality (especially in case of the female singers) interpretations: vocal technique and control, range and agility of voices, timbre, expressive interpretation of intense and surging emotions – all this makes the performance convincing on narrative and dramaturgical levels.
2023 September 29th, Gazzetta del Sud
Klára Kolonits interpreted the title role superbly; already in the famous “Casta diva”, the ominous high note, which oftentimes we hear torn and strained by others, was both supple and long, without any trickery. The impeccable modulation of the voice characterised Klára Kolonits’ entire performance, the singer is indeed in full command of the stage, also in terms of interpretation.
2023 September 28th, Tempo Stretto
The drama of Norma is conveyed by the plastic, expressive and energetic voices of Klára Kolonits (and others), whose interpretation allows the audience to come face to face with the characters and experience the pain of their choices.
The duets of the two sopranos transcend all perception and deeply touch our hearts.
2023 October 2nd unictmagazine
The voice of the Hungarian Klára Kolonits is convincing, with attractive colour, correct presence, subtle nuances and satisfying tessitura.
She handled the coloratura parts more with agility than fireworks, and the high notes overall are produced with convincing accuracy.
2023 September 29th, Scherzo.es
The singers’ performance was impressive.
Klára Kolonits is a singer capable of dominating all aspects of Norma, but she puts the pianos in focus, choosing slow tempos that highlight above all the unspeakable restlessness, guilt, pain and tragic, sacrificial choices in Bellini’s work.
2023 September 29th, Il corriere musicale
In the past few years, you have performed as Norma in 2018 in Debrecen and in 2019 in Toulouse. This is a role that is part of the heart of your repertoire. This time you are coming back on stage in Messina, in our Sicily, with one of Bellini’s best-known women. What are the challenges in interpreting this character, both from a personality and a vocal point of view?
Indeed, this role is the Himalayan mountain in my repertoire. It is an ideal role for me because, although it is a mythical figure, it has to convey emotions that I know, albeit in a smaller dimension. Vocally, it is a complex challenge that no other role comes close to. It has every nuance from grave, dramatic declamation to ethereal passages and bravura coloratura.
How much of Norma is there in Klara Kolonits?
Much more than I thought. The work with Francesco Torrigiani is enlightening. He unfolded the role for me during rehearsals in such a way that every moment feels like my own.
You are a dramatic soprano of “coloratura”. What are the special features of this particular type of voice? To which roles is this vocal timbre most suited?
I’m the kind of singer who adapts a little to each role. For lyrical roles I mix a lighter tone. I put this to good use in the role of Norma, when I bring to life the sounds of hope, or the first, anticipatory happiness of love. What I have been working on a lot in recent years is dramatic Italian declamation, which is an eternal but very attractive challenge for a foreign-language artist. My favourite roles are those of Donizetti, Bellini, Mozart and the young Verdi.
If you were to invite young people to attend the opera, what would you say?
It’s not easy to answer that, because even myself, when I was young I wasn’t attracted to the world of opera. It’s definitely worth going to a live opera performance, because recordings don’t give you that tingling, elemental feeling that you get when the orchestra, the choir and the singers’ voices almost crawl under your skin.It’s a genre where it’s essential for the young person who first encounters the opera to understand the text. In my country, Hungary, we play everything in the original language, but it is perhaps not easy to follow the text on the screen at first.What is essential is to have a teacher, a parent or a relative (in my case it was the same) to introduce the child, to help to highlight a character whose fate can be followed, with whom one can identify. In Hungary, my husband, Dániel Dinyés, a composer-conductor, has been conducting opera initiation programmes for 10 years and I am one of the performers. I can safely say that we have made a lot of young people fall in love with the genre of opera!