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‘Norma’ Does Better Than Expected

In recent Opera Pacific productions at the Orange County Performing Arts Center, Rossini’s barber Figaro drew more people than Bellini’s Druid priestess Norma, but Norma played to fuller houses, according to David DiChiera, the company’s general director.

“Norma,” with Joan Sutherland in the title role, averaged 97% capacity of the Center over four performances, DiChiera said Monday. Attendance at Rossini’s “Il Barbiere” averaged 77% over seven performances.

DiChiera noted that nevertheless, the company “had over 15,000 people attend the ‘Barber’ . . . the equivalent of over five capacity houses.” Still, he added, “next year we will do only five performances of each opera. I think that five performances is about the size of the audience that we have for an opera.”

In any case, DiChiera was happy to note that although “Barber” sales were less than anticipated, “Norma” sales were greater than expected.

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The company’s final offering of the season, Lerner and Loewe’s “My Fair Lady,” will run June 23 through July 2 at the Center. Single tickets go on sale in May.


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