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 at the Bergen Performing Arts Center, located at 30 North Van Brunt Street, in Englewood, New Jersey.

Norma Cast

The New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera’s Artistic Director, Lucine Amara, announces the artists performing in the 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.”

Tenor Benjamin Sloman

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

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 performanceChorus Director/Associate Conductor Michael Wittenburg leads the Verismo Opera Chorus. General Manager/Stage Director Evelyn La Quaif directs the fully staged opera. Furthermore, the entire cast performs in period costumes singing in Italian. English supertitles also project on a screen for the audience to follow.

Opera Dedicated to Emeritus Principal Conductor

The company last performed this opera on May 8, 1997 under the baton of Emeritus Music Director/Principal Conductor Anthony Morss. Therefore, Verismo Opera dedicates this new production of Norma in his memory.

Emeritus Principal Conductor Anthony Morss Photo Credit: Marilyn Monsanto

“With the greatest sorrow, we dedicate our October 28th production of Norma to our recently deceased beloved Emeritus Conductor, Anthony Morss.  A man of great intellect, he possessed a humble nature.  We never heard him utter a negative word about any human being. Our deep sorrow cannot be measured. He will be missed for a very long time,” said Amara.


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.  Purchase regularly priced tickets online.

Special rates remain on sale for children, senior citizens, and groups through October 28.  Verismo Opera continues to offer a discount ticket rate of $10 for children ages 12 and under.  Senior citizens also receive 10% off any regular priced ticket.  Special rates are not available with other offers.  In addition, groups qualify for a special rate on $55 and $45 tickets only with a minimum purchase of ten.

Purchase the discount tickets for children and senior citizens in person or call the bergenPAC’s box office. Before purchasing any discount ticket, request the special rate. Furthermore, to receive the discount ticket rate for groups, contact Ria Hawks at

Patrons enter the theatre through an accessible site. In addition, designated handicapped parking spaces are available. For further information about bergenPAC’s Accessibility Services, contact (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.

For updates, follow the company on Facebook  or Twitter @NJVerismoOpera or call (201) 886-0561.