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.

The vinyl countdown

It’s a long story, a story of love and loss and all that, but I’ll cut to the chase.  Read more »

Seriously? Right in front of Mycenae?

You can pick your family, and you can pick your origin, but you can't pick your family of origin.

You can pick your family and you can pick your origin, but you can’t pick your family of origin.

Deborah Voigt for a time referred to herself kiddingly-on-the-square as Ariadne Incorporated. When you sing a role particularly well, it may end up dominating your schedule—ask Lise Lindstrom or Latonia Moore, neither of whom had a break for years running from being Turandot Inc. or Aida Inc, respectively. I imagine it to be a secure feeling, but I do wonder if it’s also like knowing you’re going to have the same thing for dinner every night for the next year, except in Christine Goerke’s case, some version of that scenario where dinner is one part triathalon, one part nervous breakdown.  Read more »

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

That little place just two hours from the city is on the list of things I shall never understand, like the plot of Parsifal.

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Incomplete mountain pass

The big news on Van Ness Avenue, it goes without saying, is Calixto Bieito’s operatic debut on these shores.

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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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