© Simone Falcetta

Riccardo Frizza

Riccardo Frizza is one of the Italian leading conductors of his generation, particularly devoted to the nineteenth century Italian operatic repertoire and Belcanto, as well as to the late romantic symphonic repertoire.

He is Chief Conductor of the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Budapest and Music Director of the Donizetti Festival in Bergamo. Frizza is a regular guest to the major international opera houses such as Opéra National de Paris, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, New York Metropolitan Opera, the Liceu in Barcelona, Teatro Real in Madrid and at the Bayerische Staatsoper. In Italy, he regularly conducts at Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Teatro Regio in Turin, La Fenice in Venice, Opera di Roma, Teatro San Carlo, the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, the Verdi Festival in Parma and the Macerata Opera Festival. 

Orchestral engagements have seen him step onto the podium at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, the Gewandhaus in Leipzig and the Dresden Sächsische Staatskapelle and conduct the Orchestra Sinfonica “Giuseppe Verdi” di Milano, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra and the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra. 

More recent and forthcoming highlights include a new production of Ballo in Maschera at the Liceu, Le Villi at the Teatro Regio di Torino, Maria Stuarda at Teatro San Carlo and “The three Queens” Gala at the Teatro Real featuring Sondra Radvanovsky. 

Frizza will also be performing a concert version of Bellini’s I Puritani, featuring Lisette Oropesa, and leading the Dresdner Philharmonie Orchestra; and Verdi’s Aida with the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra.

On the symphonic stage, Frizza will make his debut leading the Vienna Tonkunstler Orchestra at the Musikverein as well as a Spain tour with Euskadiko Orkestra. 

During the current season, Riccardo Frizza will also celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Hungarian Radio Orchestra. 

Engagements in recent years have included Norma at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Rigoletto at the Liceu in Barcelona, Lucia di Lammermoor at Teatro la Fenice and in Bilbao, I Puritani in Budapest, Falstaff at the Parma Verdi Festival and in Dallas, Il pirata at Teatro alla Scala and Anna Bolena in Rome.

Since 2017, Riccardo Frizza has been music director at the Donizetti Opera Festival in Bergamo, where in 2018 he conducted Il castello di Kenilworth, and in 2019 Lucrezia Borgia for the first performance of the new critical edition of the score published by Ricordi and Fondazione Teatro Donizetti, Marin Faliero and Belisario in 2020 and L’elisir d’amore in 2021, La Favorite in 2022. In 2023 he will again inaugurate the Donizetti Opera conducting Il diluvio universale. His Donizetti repertoire includes Lucia di Lammermoor, Linda di Chamounix, Maria Stuarda (at the Metropolitan Opera with Sondra Radvanovsky), La fille du régiment, Lucrezia Borgia (at the San Francisco Opera with Renée Fleming), Roberto Devereux (again in San Francisco), and Anna Bolena (at the Opera di Roma).

In June 2021 he won the Ópera XXI award for best music director. The accolade was awarded by Ópera XXI, the association of theatres, festivals and opera companies of Spain, for the outstanding Lucia di Lammermoor which was staged for ABAO Bilbao Ópera in October 2019.

In March 2022, his appointment as Chief Conductor of the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Choir was announced during their concert in which he conducted Mahler’s Second Symphony. He returned to the podium in Hungary in 2023 to conduct an extremely wide-ranging repertoire, showcasing the qualities of the Hungarian orchestra and choirs entrusted to his baton. The symphonic year in Budapest will come to a close on 19th December with the jubilee concert to celebrate the orchestra’s 80th anniversary.

Noteworthy productions from recent and upcoming seasons include L’amico Fritz  and Rigoletto at the Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, The Three Queens concert with Sondra Radvanovski at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, as well as Il Trovatore and Un ballo in maschera . La Sonnambula at the Théatre des Champs-Elysées, the concert entitled “Ritorno a Napoli” at the Toscanini Festival in Parma, the Belcanto Gala and Anna Bolena  at the Teatro San Carlo, La Cenerentola at the Teatro Real in Madrid, the inauguration of the Donizetti Opera in Bergamo with L’elisir d’amore, “Omaggio a Caruso” at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, concerts with the Haydn Orchestra and La clemenza di Tito at ABAO Bilbao Opera. The Three Queens and Il barbiere di Siviglia, and Maria Stuarda at the Teatro San Carlo, Lucia di Lammermoor at the New York Metropolitan Opera, Simon Boccanegra during the Festival Verdi at the Teatro Regio di Parma and La Favorite at the Donizetti Opera. La Traviata at the Teatro Comunale in Bologna, Ernani at La Fenice, the Verdi Requiem at the Duomo in Milan for the “Manzoni 150” celebrations, I Vespri siciliani at the Teatro Regio in Turin, Madama Butterfly at the Teatro Grande in Brescia and Rigoletto at the Rome Opera Caracalla Festival. I puritani at the Dresdner Philharmonie, Le villi at the Teatro Regio in Turin. 

He has an impressive discography, especially in the field of opera. In 2022 three CDs by artists of the caliber of Sondra Radvanovsky (The Three Queens, Pentatone), Nadine Sierra (Made for opera, Deutsche Grammophon) and Javier Camarena (Signor Gaetano, Pentatone) were released and all well-received by the international press. The DVD of Mascagni’s opera L’amico Fritz (Dynamic, 2023) with the Orchestra of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino was also well received.

Riccardo Frizza (born 1971 in Brescia) studied at the Milan Conservatory and the Accademia Chigiana di Siena.