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Florida Grand Opera debuts rarely-performed opera, Bellini’s Norma

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Classical music lovers have a special treat in store. A rarely-performed opera comes to Miami. Mary Elizabeth Williams, an internationally-recognized soprano of color, will be making her Florida Grand Opera debut in Bellini’s Norma on January 24, 26, and 29. Produced by the Florida Grand Opera, this type of masterpiece has been absent from the FGO stage for the past 25 years and is the theater’s most requested opera of the past two decades. Norma will be performed at the Adrienne Arsht Center and Broward Center.

Set in occupied ancient Gaul, the opera tells the story of the priestess Norma, who is urged by her people to inspire a rebellion against the Romans. However, Norma is secretly caught in a clandestine love affair with the Roman proconsul Pollione and bore him two boys. Pollione, for his part, has taken up with another druidess: Norma’s friend, Adalgisa. But when Norma discovers that her beloved now loves another, an impassioned new battle begins as betrayal, torment, and ferocity take the reins and brings two extreme enemies together during a time of war. The unforgettable conclusion entails an extraordinary public confession and the ultimate personal sacrifice.

With over forty chorus members and a set that will make ample use of the Arsht Center’s stage, which is the second-largest in the country, Norma is shaping up to be one of the largest productions the company has mounted in recent memory.

FGO’s performances will feature Cincinnati Opera’s acclaimed production and will be led by stage director Nic Muni, who has directed this particular production for Seattle Opera (1994), Houston Grand Opera (1996), Los Angeles Opera (1996), and Cincinnati Opera (2003).

Raised in the First Baptist Church of Philadelphia, Mary Elizabeth came from a musical family and started singing at a very early age, and by the age of 10 she was the only child choir member at her church. Her early development later led to a year-long stint with the Broadway touring company of ShowBoat. She later spent two years in France in 2002 to join the young artist program at the Opera National de Paris after finding it difficult to secure opportunities in America. After four seasons of singing professionally, Ms. Williams has already debuted three grand dames of opera: Aida, Tosca and Leonora, from Il Trovatore.

Miami show dates:

Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County/Ziff Ballet Opera House

1300 Biscayne Blvd

January 23, 24, 26, 29, 30, 2016

Tickets: $12- $250

Ft. Lauderdale show dates:

Broward Center for the Performing Arts/Au-Rene Theater

201 SW 5th Ave, Ft Lauderdale

February 11, 13, 2016

Tickets: $21 – $250

Tickets on sale at, or by calling the Box Office at (800) 741-1010.