Sutherland in 1975
Domenico Donzelli, Giuditta Pasta,
and Giulia Grisi (original cast)
Tullio Serafin
Sutherland in 1962
Librettist Felice Romani
Tullio Serafin plaque (Rottanova, Cavarzere)
Joan Sutherland in 1990
Giuditta Pasta for whom the role of Norma was created
Poster advertising the 1831 premiere
Domenico Donzelli sang Pollione
Giulia Grisi sang Adalgisa
Vincenzo Negrini sang Oroveso
Giulia Grisi dressed as Norma. In 1831, she also sang the role of Adalgisa
Act 2 finale, Luigi Lablache as Oroveso, Giulia Grisi (as Norma), Dominique Conti as Pollione. Her Majesty's Theatre, London, 1843
Alessandro Sanquirico's set design for act 1, scene 2, for the original production
Drawing for Norma (undated)

Notable exponents of the title role in the post-war period have been Maria Callas, Leyla Gencer, Joan Sutherland, and Montserrat Caballé.

- Norma (opera)

During his long career he helped further the careers of many important singers, including Rosa Ponselle, Magda Olivero, Joan Sutherland, Renata Tebaldi, and most notably Maria Callas, with whom he collaborated on many recordings.

- Tullio Serafin

She was engaged by the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, as a utility soprano, and made her debut there on 28 October 1952, as the First Lady in The Magic Flute, followed in November by a few performances as Clotilde in Vincenzo Bellini's opera Norma, with Maria Callas as Norma.

- Joan Sutherland

Norma (Callas, Stignani, Filippeschi, Rossi-Lemeni; 1954) EMI

- Tullio Serafin

In 1959, Sutherland was invited to sing Lucia di Lammermoor at the Royal Opera House in a production conducted by Tullio Serafin and staged by Franco Zeffirelli.

- Joan Sutherland

Callas's first appearances in the role began at the Teatro Comunale di Firenze in November/December 1948 followed by the second at the Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires in June 1949, both of which were conducted by Tullio Serafin.

- Norma (opera)
Sutherland in 1975

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Callas in 1958

Maria Callas

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American-born Greek soprano who was one of the most renowned and influential opera singers of the 20th century.

American-born Greek soprano who was one of the most renowned and influential opera singers of the 20th century.

Callas in 1958
The apartment house in Athens where Callas lived from 1937 to 1945
The Villa in Sirmione where Callas lived with Giovanni Battista Meneghini between 1950 and 1959
Callas's range in performance (highest and lowest notes both shown in red): from F-sharp below the Middle C (green) to E-natural above the High C (blue)
Callas acknowledges applause in 1959 at the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam
Callas's rival, Renata Tebaldi, 1961
Tito Gobbi, 1970
Callas during her final tour in Amsterdam in 1973
Aristotle Onassis, who had an affair with Callas before he married Jackie Kennedy
The last residence of Maria Callas, in Paris
Portrait of Callas (2004), by Oleg Karuvits
Maria Callas with her husband Giovanni Battista Meneghini in 1957
Callas getting ready with the help of Luchino Visconti in Milan, 1957
Maria Callas as Giulia in the Opera "La Vestale", by Gaspare Spontini, 1954
Churchill with Maria Callas on Onassis' yacht in the late 50s

Basso Nicola Rossi-Lemeni, who also was to star in this opera, was aware that Tullio Serafin was looking for a dramatic soprano to cast as La Gioconda at the Arena di Verona.

The two had sung together for the first time the year previously in Rome in a production of Norma.

In 1952, she made her London debut at the Royal Opera House in Norma with veteran mezzo-soprano Ebe Stignani as Adalgisa, a performance which survives on record and also features the young Joan Sutherland in the small role of Clotilde.