An Afternoon at the Opera

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Jon and Patilia Freeman at Austin Opera's 'Of Mice and Men.'

“This might be my new favorite opera,” says Patilia Freeman. “And I’m a Puccini gal. Love my Puccini.”


Jon and Patilia Freeman at Austin Opera’s ‘Of Mice and Men.’

Most of the responses we recorded during intermission and after the Austin Opera matinee performance of Carlisle Floyd‘s “Of Mice and Men” at the Long Center welcomed the English-language piece based on the John Steinbeck classic.

“Riveting.” “Loving it.” “I really like the sets a lot.”

Super-social Kevin Smothers was my Plus-1 for the show. It was his first local opera.

“I don’t know these people,” he mused as we mingled. “Who are they?”

The matinee crowd, I said. Nowadays, they are my kind of arts-goer, since my weekend evenings are usually booked. They dress more casually, but tend to pay closer attention.

Not everybody was pleased. An architect we know was sitting out in his car as we left.

“I’ve got an atonal headache,” he grumbled. Actually, while Floyd’s “Bilby’s Doll” veers into atonality, “Of Mice and Men” tends to be quite lyrical and even Romantic. We hope to hear more like it.

Here’s Luke Quinton’s review in the Statesman.

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