This is an upload of a live video of the aria “Casta Diva” from the opera NORMA by Vincenzo Bellini. I consider it to be one of the most beautiful live performances for several reasons. To begin, it is sung here by the incomparable Montserrat Caballé. Her performance is spellbinding and the fact that she is singing this in the great Antique Theater in Orange, France makes it the perfect venue. The famed MISTRAL wind comes through this open air arena throughout the year, and that special night was no different. The serenity of the the music accompanied by blowing winds and sheer silk veils is a feast for both the ear and eye. I find her portrayal of the aria to be near perfection. A legato line that never ends, a clear warm and round voice with great ring. Every note seems to be spinning on a thread of silk. The chorus here adds a beautiful accompaniment as well. The stillness of the entire picture takes my breath away.
I was lucky enough to perform in this great amphitheater a few years back in the opera LA TRAVIATA ,direcetd by Francesca Zambello, with Roberto Alagna and other illustrious stars in the cast. The wind was certainly blowing that night and I found it less than comforting. As singers we constantly worry about catching a cold. I remember during the rehearsal period all the singers were bundled up in scarves (and this was the dead of summer). Running around the stage, sweating and worrying about the wind. It was hard to focus on the singing. But it all comes together in the end…..it was a terrific performance. The theater seats 10,000 spectators…….the wall of applause at the end of the night was overwhelming (like being at a world cup game). I am grateful to have had the opportunity to sing in this great place and I hope that you whether you be a singer, or someone who likes to travel, will have the opportunity to visit this great place in architectural history. The wine wasn’t bad, either 🙂