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Conductor RICCARDO FRIZZA continues to dazzle audiences and critics with his mastery of bel canto

Maestro RICCARDO FRIZZA at Istituto Italiano di Cultura’s ‘Meet the Maestro’ event in San Francisco, 27 August 2018 [Photo © by Flavia Loreto Photography / Istituto Italiano di Cultura; used with permission]
Maestro Riccardo Frizza discusses Gaetano Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux in Istituto Italiano di Cultura’s Meet the Maestro event prior to the opening of San Francisco Opera’s production of the opera, 27 August 2018
[Photo © by Flavia Loreto Photography / Istituto Italiano di Cultura; used with permission]

Continuing the journey that took him to Lyric Opera of Chicago in January and February 2017 to lead performances of Vincenzo Bellini’s Norma, Italian conductor Riccardo Frizza returns to the KKN Enterprises roster for representation in the United States in conjunction with his American engagements in the 2018 - 2019 Season.

Maestro Frizza’s pacing of LOC’s 2017 Norma prompted John von Rhein to write in The Chicago Tribune that, under Maestro Frizza’s baton, ‘no musical gesture was perfunctory, no interpretive decision ill-chosen.’

The mastery of Italian repertory also lauded in von Rhein’s assessment of Maestro Frizza’s conducting of Norma was again shared with American audiences in performances of powerhouse scores by two of the Nineteenth Century’s most acclaimed composers of opera. First, amidst prestigious engagements at Venice’s Teatro La Fenice and Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, Riccardo visited the English Tudor court in San Francisco Opera’s production of Gaetano Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux, featuring Sondra Radvanovsky as Elisabetta (8, 11, 14, 18, 23, 27 September 2018).

Assessing his pacing of Roberto Devereux, Ilana Walder-Biesanz wrote for San Francisco Classical Voice that ‘Riccardo Frizza led the San Francisco Opera Orchestra with a light touch...the overall impression was of stately dignity,’ and Joshua Kosman, reviewing the opening-night performance for The San Francisco Chronicle, praised the conductor’s ‘crisp, vigorous musical leadership.’ For San Francisco Examiner critic James Ambroff-Tahan, Maestro Frizza’s conducting demonstrated ‘insightful precision.’


(from left to right) ANDREA COMPAGNUCCI, Consul General LORENZO ORTONA, and Maestro RICCARDO FRIZZA at Istituto Italiano di Cultura’s ‘Meet the Maestro’ event in San Francisco, 27 August 2018 [Photo © by Flavia Loreto Photography / Istituto Italiano di Cultura; used with permission]
(from left to right) Andrea Compagnucci, Consul General Lorenzo Ortona, and Maestro Riccardo Frizza at Istituto Italiano di Cultura’s ‘Meet the Maestro’ event in San Francisco, 27 August 2018
[Photo © by Flavia Loreto Photography / Istituto Italiano di Cultura; used with permission]

Prior to the opening of SFO’s Roberto Devereux, Maestro Frizza discussed the opera in a special ‘Meet the Maestro’ event organized by Istituto Italiano di Cultura and attended by musical luminaries including mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton, Sara in SFO’s Roberto Devereux, and composer Jake Heggie.

Later in the season, he advanced in operatic chronology but regressed in British history with performances of Giuseppe Verdi’s Falstaff with The Dallas Opera (26, 28 April and 1, 4 May 2019). TDO’s production, the first Falstaff in the company’s history, assembled an exciting cast around baritone Mark Delavan’s spirited portrayal of Shakespeare’s, Boito’s, and Verdi’s boisterous knight.

Reviewing TDO’s Falstaff for Texas Classical Review, Wayne Lee Gay wrote that ‘Riccardo Frizza, who most recently conducted in Dallas for a production of Puccini’s La bohème in 2015, handled this super-energetic and constantly shifting score deftly, with close attention to the endless array of orchestral effects with which Verdi enlivened this score,’ and Scott Cantrell wrote for Dallas News that ‘conductor Riccardo Frizza had the orchestra playing with first-class finesse.’

Maestro Frizza returns to Dallas in TDO’s 2019 - 2020 Season to conduct performances of Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia with Lucas Meachem as Figaro, Pretty Yende as Rosina, and Xabier Anduaga and Lawrence Brownlee alternating as Conte Almaviva (24, 26, 29 April and 2, 8, 10 May 2020).

In December 2019, Maestro Frizza returns to Lyric Opera of Chicago for three performances of The Three Queens, a special, semi-staged presentation of the final scenes of Anna Bolena, Maria Stuarda, and Roberto Devereux, featuring soprano Sondra Radvanovsky (1, 4, 7 December 2019).

In May 2018, Maestro Frizza presided over the Teatro La Fenice performances in which revered soprano Mariella Devia bade farewell to staged opera in the title rôle in Bellini’s Norma. Opera Wire’s Alan Neilson wrote that ‘under the baton of Riccardo Frizza, the Orchestra del Teatro La Fenice produced a gripping and sensitive reading, which highlighted the subtle contributions of individual sections, creating a sound world full of rich textures. [Maestro Frizza] produced some marvelous crescendos, in which he filled the auditorium with the full sound of the orchestra, yet at the same time never compromising the singers’ ability to perform.

In May 2019, Maestro Frizza welcomes the release on the Dynamic label of CD, DVD, and Blu-ray recordings of the 2018 Bergamo production of Donizetti’s Il castello di Kenilworth in which he led a cast including Jessica Pratt, Carmela Remigio, Stefan Pop, and Xabier Anduaga.


(from left to right) Composer JAKE HEGGIE, mezzo-soprano JAMIE BARTON, KAREN KRIENDLER NELSON, and Maestro RICCARDO FRIZZA at Istituto Italiano di Cultura’s ‘Meet the Maestro’ event in San Francisco, 27 August 2018 [Photo © by Flavia Loreto Photography / Istituto Italiano di Cultura; used with permission]
(from left to right) Composer Jake Heggie, mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton (Sara in San Francisco Opera’s production of Roberto Devereux), Karen Kriendler Nelson, and Riccardo Frizza at Istituto Italiano di Cultura’s Meet the Maestro event in San Francisco, 27 August 2018
[Photo © by Flavia Loreto Photography / Istituto Italiano di Cultura; used with permission]



[Updated 12 May 2019]

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