Bellini’s “Norma”


Session Title:

  • UNESCO Session: Music

Presentation Title:

  • Bellini’s “Norma”



  • Alain Bonardi and Chantal de Sachy are working on a production of the romantic opera Norma by Bellini (1831) to be performed outdoors at l’Ile d’Yeu (west of France) in august 2001. There is no material element of set on the stage, and they therefore use the principle of a computer-elaborated set to be projected on a screen. Two ideas are borrowed from the cinematographer Adolphe Appia (1862-1928) :

    • -Part of the the cinematography must be inferred from music. The authors therefore use the ALMA software, designed in La Sorbonne University, enabling the real time creation of 3-D elements from textual musical descriptions in GUIDO. ALMA enables the association of these entities with various representations, for instance such constructions as tunnels with instrumental lines, etc.
    • The necessary interaction between music, singers and sets. The authors try to create interesting interactions between the stage and the projected set. The aim is that singers play with elements on the screen.

    For that purpose, the cinematography has the following features :

    1. each character has his/her own computerized “avatar” on the screen, he/she plays with,
    2. to enable the renewal of the production at each performance, a constraint solver program to animate the different elements is used. The rules set have to do with overlapping of the objects on the screen, with group displacements, and the temporal synchronization with music.