New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera Presents NORMA With Met Opera's Jessica Sandidge

New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera Presents NORMA With Met Opera's Jessica Sandidge This fall, the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera opens with Norma on Sunday, October 28, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. The company presents Vincenzo Bellini's tragedia lirica opera set in ancient Rome at the Bergen Performing Arts Center, located at 30 North Van Brunt Street, in Englewood, New Jersey.

Verismo Opera announces the artists performing in this dramatic production. Soprano Jessica Sandidge debuts with the company as the druid high priestess Norma. Sandidge joined the Metropolitan Opera in the 2016/2017 season performing the role of Jano(c) in Janácek's Jenufa, and returns for her third season as Dawn(c) in the American premiere of Marnie this fall. Of her recent New York City Opera debut in Gaetano Donizetti's Il Pigmalione, The New York Times wrote: "Jessica Sandidge's belated entrance as Galatea came as something of a relief, all the more so for the loveliness of her singing."

Other vocalists performing in Verismo Opera's cast are: tenor Benjamin Sloman (Pollione), mezzo-soprano Viktoriya Koreneva (Adalgisa), bass DeAndre Simmons (Oreveso), soprano EphiGenia Kastanas (Clotilde), and tenor Theron Cromer (Flavio).

Opera Dedicated to Emeritus Principal Conductor

The company last performed this opera set in ancient Rome on May 8, 1997 under the baton of Emeritus Music Director/Principal Conductor Anthony Morss. The new production is dedicated in his memory. "With the greatest sorrow, we dedicate our October 28th production of Norma to our recently deceased beloved Emeritus Conductor, Anthony Morss. He was a man of great intellect, who possessed a humble nature and was never heard to utter a negative word about any human being. Our deep sorrow cannot be measured. He will be missed for a very long time," said Artistic Director Lucine Amara.

Verismo Opera presents the dramatic opera in two acts, with the libretto by Felice Romani. Under Principal Conductor/Music Director Lucy Arner, a live orchestra accompanies the performance, with Chorus Director/Associate Conductor Michael Wittenburg leading the Verismo Opera Chorus. General Manager/Stage Director Evelyn La Quaif directs the fully staged opera. The entire cast performs in period costumes singing in Italian. English supertitles are projected on a screen for the audience to follow.


Tickets are on sale at bergenPAC's box office, located at 30 North Van Brunt Street in Englewood, New Jersey. Patrons may also call (201) 227-1030 or toll-free at 1-888-PACSHOW. Regularly priced tickets may be purchased online at

Special rates are still available for children ($10 for ages 12 and under), senior citizens (10% off any regular priced ticket not combined with other offers), and groups ($55, $45 tickets only with a minimum purchase of 10) through October 28. Purchase the discount tickets for children and seniors in person or by calling the Bergen Performing Arts Center's box office. These special rates are not available online and must be requested before purchasing a ticket. To receive the discount ticket rate for groups, contact Ria Hawks at

The theatre is handicapped accessible. Designated handicapped parking spaces are available. For information about bergenPAC's Accessibility Services, contact the theatre's Americans With Disabilities Coordinator at (201) 816-8160, extension 31.

The season is made possible, in part, with funds provided by the New Jersey Council on the Arts/Department of State, through grant funds administered by the Bergen County Department of Parks, Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs.

About New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera

For 29 years, the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera, a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization headquartered in Fort Lee, New Jersey, has been an integral part of the region's classical music culture. Led by Metropolitan Opera luminary Lucine Amara, Verismo Opera is the Bergen Performing Arts Center's house opera company. Verismo Opera provides performing opportunities for artists through semi-annual productions and concerts, directs an international vocal competition drawing artists worldwide, and organizes opera workshops and master classes.

For information, visit Verismo Opera's web site,; follow the company on Facebook,, or Twitter @NJVerismoOpera; or call (201) 886-0561.

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