By Vincenzo Bellini
The famous German Norma of the 1890s, Lotti Lehmann, said Norma is more difficult to sing than all three Bruinhildes put together. It requires immense range, technical virtuosity and enough stamina to appear in almost every scene. The soprano who takes it on must be able to produce floating pianissimos, sudden dramatic swells, a fusillade of coloratura effects, including rapid runs, fluttering trills, delicate turns and declamatory outbursts. It is the supreme test for a fiercely intense, formidable soprano. Skagit Opera favorite Christina Kowalski passes this test with raw emotion and talent tempered by perfect form and technical precision.