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Now You Know Why She's Not Fabiana Boohiss

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The Virginia Opera's production of Vincenzo Bellini's tragedy "Norma" presents a challenge to any unwitting singer who steps onto the stage. Regarded as the most difficult opera for the soprano, it requires a vocal acrobat with nerves of steel and lungs of a considerably more elastic substance, able to scale scales and leap octaves. So Argentine soprano Fabiana Bravo, last seen in Richmond for the 2002 performance of "A Masked Ball," will be at the peak of her powers for this opera, the story of a druid priestess, Norma, whose love for invading Roman proconsul Pollione (played by tenor German Villar) is shaken when he falls for the younger woman, novice priestess Adalgisa (played by mezzo-soprano Stacey Rishoi). Norma's emotions are torn when she must decide the fate of her children, her romance and herself. "Norma" comes to the Landmark Theater for two shows, March 31 at 8 p.m. and April 2 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $10-$85. Call 262-8003 or visit www.vaopera.org. S

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