-The Italian conductor, who is the Musical Director of the event, will open the season in Bilbao with Lucia di Lammermoor

September 2019

On Saturday 21st September the man in charge of the music at the Donizetti Festival in Bergamo (Italy), Riccardo Frizza and the Artistic Director Francesco Micheli, picked up the award for Best Festival at the first edition of the Oper! Awards in Berlin, which is organised by the German magazine Oper!   Frizza, who had just opened the Opéra National season in Paris with Bellini´s I Puritani and who will also raise the curtain on the ABAO Bilbao Opera season with Lucia di Lammermoor, was delighted with the award: “This is a prize for teamwork, but also, for the work of a composer who was fundamental in the opera genre, Gaetano Donizetti.”

In the award ceremony, in which the Spanish tenor Xavier Anduaga was also awarded the prize for best debut for his performance in the last Donizetti Festival, the figure of Donizetti had great presence among the prize-winners.  A recording of L’ange de Nisida (Opera Rara) also won a prize for best CD – the only Donizetti opera which has never be premiered and which will be seen in a revival at the Festival next November. “Rigorous work, which is faithful to the original sources” Frizza explains “is allowing us to re-evaluate Donizetti. In Bilbao, for example, we are performing Lucia di Lammermoor in the original tonality it was written in, also using the now rarely played glass harmonica to accompany the soprano´s variations in the famous Mad Scene.”

In the next Bergamo Festival Frizza will conduct Lucrezia Borgia as well as a Donizetti gala (November), before travelling to Chicago to take charge of three concerts centred on the great scenes from Donizetti´s Tudor queens (Anna Bolena, Maria Stuarda and Roberto Devereux) featuring the soprano Sondra Radvanovsky (December). He will then return to Paris for an opera by one of the other great bel-canto composers, Bellini´s Il Pirata (December).