- The musical director of the event, which is located in Bergamo, the Donizetti world centre and birthplace, will conduct two little-known operas by the bel-canto composer
Between 19th November and 6th December, the Donizetti Opera Festival will once again take place in Bergamo, Italy. The festival is dedicated to Gaetano Donizetti, one of the most prolific composers of Romantic bel-canto repertoire, and one of the fathers of international opera. With slight changes to the programme previously announced, due to the pandemic, and with Riccardo Frizza and Francesco Micheli at the helm as musical and artistic directors respectively, the festival will present three operas by the Bergamo composer in the renovated Teatro Donizetti. Riccardo Frizza will open the programme with the opera Belisario (which premiered in Venice, 1836 – in Ottavio Sbragia’s critic edition). The opera will be performed twice in concert format (19th and 26th November), by a stellar cast which includes Plácido Domingo in the main role, as well as the bass Simon Lim, the soprano Davinia Rodriguez, the mezzo-soprano Annalisa Stroppa and the tenor Celso Albelo; they will be accompanied by the Turin Teatro Regio Orchestra.
Riccardo Frizza will also conduct three staged performances of the opera Marino Faliero (on the 20th and 28th November and 6th December). The opera will be directed by the unmistakable and ground-breaking Ricci/Forte company, which has an international reputation and is formed by the directors Gianni Forte and Stefano Ricci, representing the most innovative and critically successful direction on the new Italian stage scene. The opera is very rarely performed, and first premiered at the Théâtre Italien in Paris on the 12th March 1835 with Rossini himself involved in the production, giving Donizetti the benefit of his wise advice. Heading the cast of this production are Michele Pertusi, Javier Camarena –artist in residence for the 2020 festival–, Francesca Dotto and Bogdan Baciu.
Riccardo Frizza is “enthusiastic and excited” by the 2020 edition, which, despite the circumstances caused by the pandemic “has a very interesting programme. The operas will be performed in the stalls at the Teatro Donizetti and the audience will be seated in the boxes; in this way we will be able to follow all the health and safety regulations. This year we will continue to work with great artists, both singers and directors,” Frizza affirms. With regard to the titles chosen, he points out that these “will help audiences to get to know the great mastery of Donizetti a little better, by presenting them with rarely performed operas.”
As well as Belisario and Marino Faliero, this year’s programme is rounded off with the opera Le nozze in villa with Stefano Montanari on the podium, directed by Davide Marranchelli and with a cast of experts on early 19th century buffo repertoire such as Fabio Capitanucci, Omar Montanari, Gaia Petrone, Giorgio Misseri, Manuela Custer and Eleonora Deveze. Other events include L’amor coniugale by Donizetti’s tutor and mentor, Giovanni Simone Mayr, which has been revived in homage to Beethoven on the 250th anniversary of his birth. The opera has a libretto by Gaetano Rossi and is based on Léonore, ou L’amour conjugal, by Jean-Nicolas Bouilly, inspired by the libretto of Fidelio, the only opera written by Beethoven.
La fille du régimen has finally been postponed to the 2021 edition of the Festival and in its place are two concerts with the singers who were to take the lead roles, one with the Basque tenor Xabier Anduaga and another with the Catalan soprano Sara Blanch and the Italian baritone Paolo Bordogna.
After his appearances at the Donizetti Festival, Riccardo Frizza will return to the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona this December to conduct the soprano Sondra Radvanovsky in the concert “The Three Queens” which includes the final scenes from Donizetti’s Tudor trilogy (Anna Bolena, Maria Stuarda and Roberto Devereux).