Former Calgarian Aviva Fortunata has returned from away to hit the stage in Calgary Opera's production of Norma at the theatre of her childhood dreams.
"The Jubilee was the theatre I grew up going to shows, the opera, musicals — everything. Even then, my goal was to get up on that stage, by hook or by crook," Fortunata told The Homestretch.
She says Norma is a complex story about a druid priestess.
"She is supposed to be this virgin priestess in charge of her group of druids, but she secretly has a family with their mortal enemy, the Romans. The opera is her trying to get out of this mess."
"Part of the challenge with Norma and any kind of dramatic role is knowing how far you can push it dramatically without sacrificing any of the vocal quality and still be able to do all the crazy vocal fireworks that Vincenzo Bellini has written but still give a true performance, emotionally."
Her career opportunities currently have her split between Toronto and Berlin.
Fortunata says Norma is one of her more challenging projects to date.
"It's been called the Everest of soprano roles and it really is, because it just keeps going and going and going," she said.
"The stakes are so high. She is crazy vengeful, crazy in love. There is so much betrayal and war and everything going on. It's coming at her from all sides."
Norma at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium runs Feb. 1, 5 and 7 at 7:30 p.m.