A clandestine love affair sets the stage for a battle of fury and anguish in Norma. The epitome of the bel canto opera style, Vincenzo Bellini's masterpiece has been a vehicle for supremely talented sopranos since its debut in 1831. Rising star Angela Meade, who plays the title role as the Druid priestess, was declared "astounding" by The New Yorker for her portrayal of Norma. Set during the Gallic-Roman wars, the story focuses on the awe-inspiring leader of her people in an occupied country. Though Norma's role as high priestess demands a strict vow of celibacy, she's violated that code by falling in love with the leader of the occupying army, leading a double life to conceal her secret. Formidable mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton sings the role of Norma's rival in this LA Opera production, performed in Italian with English supertitles, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.