It is always so much harder to write about individuals who are exceptionally well qualified and who hold highly regarded positions. Writing about an Academic takes it one step further on the scale of don’t go there and then there is Federico Freschi. He will probably deny this statement, but I think its safe to say that he is a Master of the Arts. Let me explain…
Federico holds a BA with Distinction in Fine Art, an Honours degree in History of Art and a PhD with research centered on the political iconography of South African public architecture. He also spent three years studying Opera at the University of Cape Town and is a regular performer on stages all over South Africa. Federico Freschi, is also known as Professor to his colleagues and students at the University of Johannesburg, where he is a Full Professor and the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture.
He is also the President of SAVAH (South African Visual Arts Historians), a Vice-President on the Board of CIHA (the Comité International d’Histoire de l’Art), a member of the editorial board of De Arte, and a member of the International Committee of the College Art Association in the United States. Impressive stuff, right…
These qualification might make most of us cringe back into the shadows when Federico enters the room, but this is not at all necessary. What really makes him special is the fact that he doesn’t make you feel like the idiot in the room. He always has time to listen to your ideas and thoughts. He stands almost six and a half feet tall, with the posture of a trained operatic baritone, which ensures that he fills the space.
When he opens his mouth the sound-waves vibrate through your body and when he laughs the earth shakes – it’s a wonderful thing to experience. When he starts singing time stands still and the audience is transported into another time and place, when chivalry and opulence were the order of the day.
Federico has the ability to cross over between the very formal world of academia into the real world of the guy on the street and then into the fantasy world of opera, effortlessly. A perfect evening in the life of this opera singer would be to fill the shoes of Germont in La Traviata at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.
When asked what is next on the list for this accomplished gentleman…Federico told us to keep watching this space…Who knows, maybe we’ll see his name in lights on the streets of NYC. After all, he has done almost everything else he set out to do, so he might as well tick this off his list too.
Federico was accompanied by legendary Christopher Duigan on the evening of this performance. For more info on these classically trained performers go have a look at www.musicrevival.co.za