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.



All my Edgardos

A friend of mine tells a story: it’s 1951 and he’s waiting at the stage door of the Old Met after a matinee of Rosenkavalier. The woman in front of him says to Helen Traubel as she emerges “Oh, Madame Traubel, it was such lovely music!” and Traubel thanks her. The Octavian, let’s say Jarmila Novotna (because it’s fun to say!) comes out, and the same thing happens.

Finally, Erna Berger makes her way to the door and the woman says “why, it was such lovely music!”

Berger dryly responds, “No, lady. It was not.”   Read more »

Out here in the dark

We have voices now.This is the tenth season of the Met’s HD broadcasts, not that I would know it. In New York there was no real reason to go, and since moving across the country altogether, I had only gone once, I think because attendance is too explicit an admission that I’m no longer a Met regular.   Read more »

Leave it to cleaver

Two nights in a row at the War Memorial—it’s all a mad, gay whirl! 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.   Read more »

Stop me if you’ve heard this one

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

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Warhorse

Three blocks from the opera house is a terrible time to realize there was homework.

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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.

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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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