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Riccardo Frizza brings “energy and lyricism” to Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Norma

Making his highly anticipated Lyric Opera of Chicago debut, Riccardo Frizza opened Bellini’s Norma with “energy and lyricism” (Chicago Classical Review). The Chicago Sun-Times praised Maestro Frizza’s direction of the Lyric orchestra, which was “impeccably conducted by Riccardo Frizza” and “makes its own beautiful sound with Bellini’s overture.”

“With Italian conductor Riccardo Frizza, a first-rate opera specialist making a welcome Lyric podium debut,” wrote the Chicago Tribune, “the performance boasted more than enough vocal thrills, elegant orchestral playing and committed choral singing.” The Tribune continued to commend Maestro Frizza’s work on Norma, noting that “no musical gesture was perfunctory, no interpretive decision ill-chosen. The Italian conductor’s marshaling of musical details as they related to dramatic expression – the color and duration of orchestral chording, for instance – was typical of his thorough understanding of Bellini’s score. His seamless pacing and rhythmic exactitude went far toward countering static moments in the staging,” concluding that “Lyric’s Bellini team is as good as it gets in today’s opera world.”

Norma stars Sondra Radvanovsky in the title role alongside Elizabeth DeShong as Adalgisa, Russell Thomas as Pollione, and Andrea Silvestrelli as Oroveso. The ensemble returns to the Lyric Opera of Chicago stage on February 1 with additional performances on February 5, 9, 13, 18, and 24.