Norma was sung once again by Maria Meneghini Callas. Mme. Callas, as it is known from her own statements, never reads the critiques that concern her, in order not to be influenced by opinions outside those of the public or her own artistic conscience. And this can be a good thing, provided of course that due note be taken of the public’s judgment, as Mme. Callas in fact does. The audience did appreciate a great deal of her interpretation during the first three scenes, but it wasn’t until the fourth and final scene that it showed its total admiration with long and enthusiastic cheering. When the drama reached its most intense excitement, namely in the last scene, the audience was enchanted by the singer’s greatness; and we don’t mind sharing the audience’s verdict. The duet “In mia mano alfin tu sei” (with Callas’s great insight, among other things, into the most artistically valid accent on the words “Pei figli tuoi”); and the final prayer “Deh! Non volerli vittime”, heard last night, remain among the deepest emotions we have ever felt in the theater. At the end of this very successful evening, the spectators lingered a long time in the theater to cheer Maestro Votto and all the singers; then they happily plunged once more into the thick fog, with Bellini’s melodies in their hearts. Review by Teodoro Celli in “Corriere Lombardo” December 8-9, 1955
Watch videos with other singers performing In mia mano alfin tu sei:
NORMA In mia man alfin tu sei: Niun potria spezzar tuoi nodi. Io lo posso.
POLLIONE Tu nol dei.
NORMA Io lo voglio.
POLLIONE E come?
NORMA M'odi. Pel tuo Dio, pei figli tuoi, Giurar dei che d'ora in poi Adalgisa fuggirai, All'altar non la torrai, E la vita io ti perdono, E mai più ti rivedrò. Giura.
POLLIONE No. Si vil non sono.
NORMA Giura, giura!
POLLIONE Ah! Pria morrò!
NORMA Non sai tu che il mio furore Passa il tuo?
POLLIONE Ch'ei piombi attendo.
NORMA Non sai tu che ai figli in core Questo ferro?
POLLIONE Oh Dio! Che intendo?
NORMA Sì, sovr'essi alzai la punta. Vedi, vedi a che son giunta! Non ferii, ma tosto, adesso Consumar potrei l'eccesso. Un istante, e d'esser madre Mi poss'io dimenticar!
POLLIONE Ah! Crudele, in sen del padre Il pugnal tu dei vibrar! A me il porgi.
NORMA A te?
POLLIONE Che spento cada io solo!
NORMA Solo? Tutti! I Romani a cento a cento Fian mietuti, fian distrutti, E Adalgisa …
NORMA Infedele a suoi voti …
POLLIONE Ebben, crudele?
NORMA Adalgisa fia punita, Nelle fiamme perirà, sì, perirà!
POLLIONE Ah! Ti prendi la mia vita, Ma di lei, di lei pietà!
English Libretto or Translation:
NORMA At last you are in my hands. No one else can break your bonds. I can.
POLLIONE But you must not.
NORMA I shall.
POLLIONE How can you?
NORMA Listen to me: For the sake of your God, your children, You must swear that forever You will avoid Adalgisa - You will not take her from the altar - Then I shall grant you life - And I shall never see you again. Swear it!
POLLIONE No: I am not such a coward!
NORMA Swear it, swear it!
POLLIONE First I shall die.
NORMA Do you not know My fury is greater than yours?
POLLIONE I am waiting for it to strike.
NORMA Do you not know that I, with this dagger, Your children -
POLLIONE Oh God! What are you saying?
NORMA Yes: I raised it over them - See, see what I have become! I did not strike ? but soon ? now ? I shall commit the fearful excess, Forgetting I am a mother.
POLLIONE Cruel woman, it is into the father's breast That you must plunge the dagger. Give it rather to me.
NORMA To you!
POLLIONE Then I Alone shall die.
NORMA No ? all The Romans, by the hundreds, Shall be mown down, destroyed ? And Adalgisa ?
NORMA Having violated Her vows -
POLLIONE Yes, cruel woman?
NORMA Adalgisa shall be punished; She will die in the fire...
POLLIONE Oh! Kill me, kill me, But on her have pity...