Norma – Toulouse 2019

bellini • norma • toulouse

September 27th 20:00

Théâtre du Capitole, Toulouse, France

October 6th 15:00

Théâtre du Capitole, Toulouse, France

The Norma of Klára Kolonits gives the most intense emotion from the beginning till the end. Already in her mystical Casta Diva we felt that we are testimonies to something great. She makes us tremble in the final trio of the first act, she makes us cry in “Qual cor tradisti” sang entirely in mezza voce, the “son io” and the duet with the father are also sublime. She really thinks she might escape her destiny and when she understand that it’s all over, we cry with her. The nobility of gesture, the intensity of gaze and rare palette of colours. The voice has a rather particular and unique timbre, the pianos are sumptuous, the vocalises perfectly oiled (the passages, the trills…). The two duets with Adalgisa are really wonderful because of the harmony between the two voices. The finale of the act 1 with its perfect interpolated notes is performed with all the required violence.
Honestly if one can go and live the tragedy of Norma performed like this, there’s no other option than to do it!

September 28th 2019, CarayonK, Kévin Carayon

SUNDAY: Kolonits, a priestress on the eternal quest for love

Only one main role interpreter changed, but along with her the equilibrium of the whole show did. The Norma of Kolontis is a sensitive woman bereaved of her love, who eventually becomes very close with Adalgisa – this little sister of hers, who follows her in everything, the best and the worst. As a woman she is less of a warrior, and as a priestress she is respected for more subtle reasons than violence. The sweet softness of her Casta Diva suits the performance practice very well.
Duets and trios are more balanced, she gets in a closer contact with the other characters. Perhaps the impact she makes is less immediate, but she consciously builts egy beautiful image of a woman, of a lover and that of a mother. Although pursuing her goal of winning Pollione back, she also appears manipulative with her people, and she is ready to sacrifice her children – a complex Norma, a real lacework of Kolonits. We can only regret that in this version of the score she didn’t get perhaps enough opportunity to show her art of bel canto, her coloratura and top register. The curious may easily look for it online, between her videos and on her Bel Canto Reloaded solo CD album.

October 9th 2019, Toute la Culture, Paul Fourier

The cast is a miracle. Norma returns triumphally onto the stage of Capitole with not one, but two interpreters of the title part. The role of the roles can be justifiably kept in the repertoire of both of the singers, each of whom presented it with their own collection of means. The vocal qualities are of the first stort – as it is demanded by sublime cantilena, virtuoso runs and dramatic explosions. Both singers soar into the top register with confusing ease (they do Casta diva in the original key) and both are also skilled in agility (one more than the other, but we won’t tell you which one). For such flexible kind of voice it is also powerful. The cherry on top is the fact, that both dramatic and coloratura extremes come deeply from the heart, presented with a varied, sensitive stage presence.

September 29th 2019, Culture 31, Michel Grialou

Klára Kolonits, l’étoile de Danube – Klára Kolonits, the star of the Danube

The season opening of 2019/2020 at Theatre du Capitole gives such an excitement that one has difficulty to recover from that – like after debuts of Alagna or Florez on this stage. Now Christophe Ghristi presents a Hungarian singer, whom your servant didn’t know even by name: Klára Kolonits.
The singer, who has been a soloist of Hungarian State Opera for a good couple of years, doesn’t venture very far from the banks of Danube: and therefore, the Hungarians can enjoy her Traviata or Elvira, or even Queen of the Night, not to forget the sublime Lucia. Happy Hungarians! Happy, because it’s very rare nowadays to hear a voice of these qualities: round and well projected throughout its (more than ample) range, musicality, style, long breath, adamantine timbre, the mastery of colours and ornaments, breathtaking virtuosity, the transmitting power of her large, agile instrument.
She presents an anthology-like interpretation, and reigns upon the deadly tessitura of the druid priestess with such an authority, that it brings a very young Joan Sutherland to our minds. Awaiting her further appearances on the stage of Capitole, that will undoubtedly happen, I highly reccomend her recital on the 3rd of October. A must!

September 30th 2019, Classic Toulouse, Robert Pénavayre

For me the breathtaking revelation of this Norma production is Klára Kolonits. She is Hungarian, since many years a soloists of State Opera of Budapest, but how come at this level she never sings outside? I can’t understand. Of course she obviously came to Toulouse now but I think it’s her first time in France. Evidently, Christophe Ghristi heard her and invited her over, but some other people had to hear her too? Anyway it’s the Hungarians who can enjoy her year-long as Marguerite de Valois, Konstanze in Entführung aus dem Serail or to go even higher, Queen of the night. But she also sings Puritani, La Traviata… all the great things. The house does play each night but she only sings the main roles.
The voice character resembles a little Joan Sutherland, but it is its round emission, velvety timbre, her musicality and long breath, her mastery of ornamentations that makes her stand out. She also makes us love and empathise with the character immediately, her approach seem to be more sensitive to the character and vocally she is simply wonderful. It’s a huge discovery we hope to see again in Toulouse very soon.

October 4th 2019, Mélomanie – Radio Présence

Klára Kolonits very appropriately defines herself as a dramatic coloratura soprano. Her rare qualities are based on her exemplary musicality: she shows her best side already in her touching, prayerlike Casta Diva or in the perfect Adalgisa duets. Her flexible, virtuoso voice doesn’t stop to seduce throughout the show full of chiaroscuro contrasts, thanks to her secure bel canto technique. Especially her upper register is luminous, of a rare expressive beauty. She shows her dramatic coloratura side in amazing ornamentations (first Adalgisa-duet), and crowns the first act with a wonderful high note. Her Norma is ready for battle but also very deeply human, especially in the vision about her children (whose presence has been marked with a video).

September 30th 2019, Olyrix, José Pons

Casta diva soars in luminous extasis (and that trill!). The voice is narrower in the low register (alla Sills), the middle range is excitingly defined, and the top is of a golden softness, all of its hundred colours sound with ease and warm glow (we can easily imagine her in Puritani). In her sensitive reading Norma shows mostly her human and vulnerable part, “Oh non tremare” is more about her pain than about her vengeance, and her “Son io” together with the whole final catharis is simply sublime.

September 30th 2019, Diapason, Jean-Philippe Grosperrin

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