Artist Of The Week: Riccardo Frizza
Italian Conductor Brings ‘Falstaff’ To DallasBy Francisco Salazar
Riccardo Frizza is one of today’s leading conductors specializing in the Italian repertoire and bringing a fresh and unique approach to the Bel Canto style.
Throughout the past years he has reinvigorated the repertory, finding new critical editions and performing complete versions without the standard cuts. He has also performed rarely performed works while bringing new subtleties to standard pieces. As he noted in an interview: “What I like to emphasize in my performances of bel canto operas is the chance to not betray the spirit and the will of the composer, while using the ‘peculiarities’ of each individual voice with which I am working.”
This week, Frizza returns to the Dallas Opera for the first since 2015 when he made his debut conducting “La Bohème,” this time bringing his acclaimed interpretation of Verdi’s “Falstaff.” While Frizza has only conducted the work a total of two times, first with the Seattle Opera and then during the Verdi Festival in Parma, the maestro has received praise for his interpretation. Critics noted that Frizza “succeeded in connecting the orchestra with what was happening on stage with crispness, especially in the case of the ensembles.” Dallas audiences should expect the same and more from Frizza’s sensitive style.
For those not in Dallas, the conductor has a full agenda in the coming months, including a new critical edition of “Lucrezia Borgia” at the Donizetti Opera Festival and opening night at the Opéra de Paris in Bellini’s “I Puritani.”
For those not familiar with Frizza’s work, he led the Metropolitan Opera premiere of “Armida” with Renée Fleming and also conducted the diva in a recording of “Lucrezia Borgia.” He also led a recording of “Giovanna d’Arco” with Jessica Pratt and of “La Fille du Régiment” with Juan Diego Flórez. He has also had numerous recording with Flórez, Ramón Vargas, and Erwin Schrott.
Here is Frizza conducting Rossini’s “L’Italiana in Algeri” overture.