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En route to Bergamo celebration of native son Donizetti, RICCARDO FRIZZA thrills San Francisco audiences with Roberto Devereux of ‘stately dignity’

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. His pacing of LOC’s 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 is 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 advances in operatic chronology but regresses 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 assembles an exciting cast around baritone Mark Delavan’s spirited portrayal of Shakespeare’s, Boito’s, and Verdi’s boisterous knight.

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.


(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 4 December 2018]

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