Cher Public

Greg Freed

Greg Freed is an opera fan who grew up listening to Met broadcasts in Kentucky and later attended as many performances as possible at Austin Lyric Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and, for 10 years, the Metropolitan, where he occasionally reviewed under the name Maury D’Annato. He currently lives in Oakland, and was Parterre’s Bay Area critic (under his own name) for two seasons. His primary vocation is social work, and as such, has spent a decade in sentencing advocacy. Greg loves live recordings of the singers of today and those of yesteryear, with special regard for the contralto Ewa Podles.



Stone cold killer

MattilaThere’s a moment early in the film Volver where Almodovar reveals Carmen Maura, his glamorous star of yesteryear, done up as an unkempt old lady, and though it’s easy to google her and see that she’s doing fine in real life, the transformation is wrenchingly poignant. I thought of it last night at the War Memorial despite Karita Mattila’s failure to look a day older than she ever has, because I recall her Jenufas as if they were yesterday, and yet here we are. Batons have been passed. Die Zeit, die ist ein sonderbar Ding and all that.  Read more »

Four faints in five acts

Don Carlo 1That little place just two hours from the city is on the list of things I shall never understand, like the plot of Parsifal. So there I was rushing back from the realm of very large bugs and a terrifying lack of restaurants, waiting to see if I would make it back and across the bay in time for a one o’clock curtain. For better or worse, I did.  Read more »

Incomplete mountain pass

Carmen 1It’s been a surprising season in San Francisco: lots of comings and goings, often serendipitous, and what looked on paper to be in the mid-range of “good enough” has instead been, on the whole, deeply satisfying. While next season’s slate of operas and stars prompted one local critic to pen the headline “San Francisco Opera announces end of reviewer’s interest in art form,” the summer season still promises some thrills.  Read more »

Busyness as usual

Emilio Sagi’s production of The Barber of Seville is ungepotchket in the flesh.

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Wahn for a day

Die Meistersinger is a bold stroke of programming, in a not particularly exciting way.

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Pa-Pa-Pa-Planter’s Punch

With a primary color, projection-heavy English-language Magic Flute that’s going to feel like a matinee whenever you see it, the SFO season has lived up to its initial promise.

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All my Edgardos

Well that’s a terrible place to start a review, and it’s not quite fair to SFO’s Lucia di Lammermoor, but…

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We have voices now.

Out here in the dark

This is the tenth season of the Met’s HD broadcasts, not that I would know it.

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Leave it to cleaver

If I’d gotten an hour less sleep you’d now find me mixing everything up and writing about Mrs. Lovett making her entrance on a bronze horse like Peter the Great.

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Stop me if you’ve heard this one

Gala this; gala that; who knew rich people wore clothes so badly?

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