The American Friends Of Donizetti Opera Festival To Be Formed

By Francisco Salazar

The American Friends of the Donizetti Opera Festival has been formed to support the efforts of the Donizetti Opera Festival, an international celebration held each November in Bergamo, Italy, the birthplace of the famed composer that bears the festival’s name.

The AFDOF is will be charged with encouraging the collaboration of scholars, artists, and Donizetti devotees in the United States and worldwide. The organization will be based in New York City and will work closely with its Italian counterparts to raise awareness of the Festival and the works and life of Donizetti and of his hometown of Bergamo.

This year, the Donizetti Opera Festival will run from November 12 through Dec. 1 and will feature Donizetti’s Messa di Gloria performed in Bergamo’s Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, the composer’s final resting place. There will also be staged performances”Pietro il Grande, Czar delle Russie,” the premiere of the “rediscovered” opera “L’ange de Nisida” and “Lucrezia Borgia”

The Festival’s Music Director is internationally recognized bel canto specialist Riccardo Frizza who will conduct “Lucrezia Borgia” at the festival. In a statement Frizza said, “Donizetti has played a pivotal role in my musical life. The Donizetti Opera Festival celebrates one of the geniuses of the bel canto era and, as we commence the festival’s fifth year (and my second as its Music Director), I am gratified to be associated with the creation of AFDOF, which will allow for greater expansion of knowledge and appreciation in the United States of Bergamo’s most famous son.”

Sondra Radvanovsky will serve as the Chairman of AFDOF’s Board of Artists and noted, “Donizetti’s music is rewarding in every way – vocally, dramatically and emotionally – and I consider singing his works among the highlights of my career, thus far. I feel tremendously honored serving with this newly created foundation; it gives me a new and meaningful way to share my joy in performing Donizetti’s music with others.”

Radvanovsky is well-known for having sung the lead roles in Donizetti’s “Tudor Trilogy” (“Anna Bolena,” “Maria Stuarda” and “Roberto Devereux”) at the Metropolitan Opera in a single season (2015-16).