(b Horton, nr Oslo, 26 April 1884; d Lausanne, 19 Nov 1968). Norwegian soprano. She studied with ellen Gulbranson in Oslo, where she made her début as Cupid (C. W. Gluck's Orfeo) in 1907. She sang at the Nationale Theater in Oslo (1908–18) and then at the Swedish Royal Opera, Stockholm; in 1924 she was engaged to sing Gilda at La Scala. She first appeared at Covent Garden in 1924 and was a regular visitor to London where her Desdemona (1937) was especially distinguished. At the Paris Opéra (1925–37), her roles included the Queen of Shemakha (The Golden Cockerel), Marguerite de Valois (Les Huguenots), Mathilde (Guillaume Tell) and Ophelia (Hamlet). Norena sang at the Metropolitan (1933–8), making her début as Mimì, and also in Vichy and Monte Carlo, where her Marguerite de Valois and Juliette were much admired. In Amsterdam she sang the three heroines of Les contes d’Hoffmann. Her lovely voice, sincere feeling and restrained, impeccable style are preserved on recordings of her Violetta, Desdemona, Marguerite de Valois and Juliette.
From The Grove Book of Opera Singers in Oxford Reference.