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.



Stop me if you’ve heard this one

Gala this; gala that; who knew rich people wore clothes so badly?  Freed’s Law (formulated long ago) states that every tenor you meet is going to think he’s the smart one, but there must be some corollary about every opening night opera gala sending out a bat-signal to the one socialite who thinks she’s going to Bring Back the Tiara. Friday night was the occasion not only of a gala, but also an opera by Mr. Verdi, in which people sang.   Read more »

Warhorse

Three blocks from the opera house is a terrible time to realize there was homework. And yet, there I was at Larkin Street or so when I remembered that Two Women was based not only on a movie (or rather, on the same novel as that movie) but on one that is apparently beloved of Italians, featuring the most glamorous star of the Italian cinema. Indeed, in her interview with David J. Baker, Anna Caterina Antonacci goes so far as to say that every Italian of her generation has seen La Ciociara “at least three times.” Ah well, I thought. I’ll wing it.   Read more »

Married to the mobcap

I have an idea (soon to be angrily debunked in the comments section) that Le nozze di Figaro is rarely a source of unalloyed bliss to the chronic operagoer. Read more »

Fou fighter

It is easy to become overly identified with opera—as a cleverer friend of mine once noted: being a sports fan is an interest, but if you like opera, everyone thinks of it as a crippling obsession.

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When I am down to earth

What does it mean anyway to get to know a diva, and why exactly would we wish to do such a thing?

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The opposite sextoness

The San Francisco Opera has just done the big reveal for 2015-2016 and here’s what we have in store.

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The year in Greg

I would love to contribute a top ten list but I didn’t even go to ten things this year.

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La vie de broham

Imagine the good fortune of attending La Bohème with someone who’s never seen it!

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Angelina’s ashes

Kitsch is alive and well in Rossini’s La Cenerentola at the War Memorial.

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Vissi d’artist

The San Francisco Opera is batting a thousand where young singers are concerned this season.

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