Knoxville Opera: Norma

KO executive director Brian Salesky hit pay dirt in casting the role of the priestess Adalgisa with mezzo-soprano J’nai Bridges, a singer probably unlikely to be in Knoxville Opera’s price range for much longer. Bridges’ voice is warm and velvety, but with a thrilling edge quite miraculous in a young singer. Her Act I aria, 'Sgombra e la sacra selva … Deh! proteggimi, o Dio,' a prayer to her god to protect her from the misfortunes of love, was memorable for its dramatic impact, not to mention a clarity of tone capable of causing a few spine tingles.