Piotr Beczala’s return to Lyric Opera of Chicago in the company’s Lucia di Lammermoor this weekend was met with tremendous acclaim for the star tenor. Described as “the world’s leading Edgardo” by the Chicago Tribune, Piotr was hailed for an “overdue return” to the company, “sending frissons of pleasure through the theater with his ardent performance…today’s gold standard in this repertory.”

The Tribune added of Piotr’s final scene in Donizetti’s Scottish tragedy, “Not since Luciano Pavarotti have I heard this aria, ‘Fra poco a me ricovero,’ better sung. The house went wild at the end, and no wonder. Beczala defines the meaning of bel canto — beautiful singing.”

Chicago Classical Review also held praise for Piotr’s return to the Lyric stage following his “commanding” debut in 2009. “But the vocal artistry and searing intensity he brought to Lucia’s secret lover were on another level altogether. The Polish tenor sang with a strong yet supple tenor and was consistently credible dramatically, even in the most ludicrous scenarios.

“There was no sense of anticlimax in the final scene as Beczała delivered a virtual seminar in bel canto style in ‘Fra poco a me ricovero’ and ‘Tu che a Dio,’” the Review also noted, describing Piotr’s final arias as “elegant of tone, heroic in manner and conveying Edgardo’s doomed love for Lucia and emotional desperation with simply gorgeous singing. Wow.”

“In Donizetti’s time, Lucia was widely considered a vehicle for the leading man, given that Donizetti tailored the role of Edgardo to show off the strengths of the legendary French tenor Gilbert Duprez (1806–96). It is difficult to imagine that Duprez had anything over Lyric’s Edgardo, the excellent Piotr Beczala,” wrote Opera News. “Beczala delivered the most beautifully sung account of this role heard at Lyric in memory. His voice gleamed like a laser above the staff, and he evidenced an affecting Italianate sob in the timbre. Beczala’s ‘Fra poco a me ricovero’ won the loudest ovation of the evening.”

Piotr continues as Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor — costarring Albina Shagimuratova and Quinn Kelsey, conducted by Enrique Mazzola, and directed by Graham Vick — through November 6.

Tonight, October 17, Piotr joins bass-baritone Eric Owens and soprano Hlengiwe Mkhwanazi for “Beyond the Aria,” a Lyric Opera concert series held at the Harris Theater as part of Lyric Unlimited.

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Piotr Beczala returns to the Metropolitan Opera stage for the first of two performances this season. The star tenor is part of an all-star pairing in Puccini’s La Bohème, reprising his acclaimed account of Rodolfo opposite Kristine Opolais as Mimì. Joining the cast are Brigitta Kele as Musetta, Massimo Cavalletti as Marcello, Patrick Carfizzi as […]

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Opening on Saturday, October 15, the premiere of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Lucia di Lammermoor, starring Piotr Beczala as Edgardo, will be broadcast live on WFMT. Donizetti’s Scottish tragedy features Piotr in one of his signature roles, opposite Albina Shagimuratova as the title heroine with Quinn Kelsey as Enrico, Adrian Sâmpetrean as Raimondo, and Enrique […]

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