With Lyric newcomer Frizza at the helm, 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.
Such was the quality of the orchestra’s responses to Frizza that Bellini’s often-criticized orchestration didn’t feel insipid at all. Director Michael Black’s chorus pitched in with conspicuous enthusiasm.