Lewis Freeman, baritone, is one of the Washington area’s most versatile singing actors. His experience includes opera, theater, oratorio, concert and recital. His performances have been praised by audiences and critics for their richness, beauty and stage presence. The Washington Post acclaimed his "strong, fine baritone" and "fine vocal and physical acting" in the title role of Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, and his comic deadpanning in the Beaumarchais play The Marriage of Figaro. His singing of Jesus in Bach’s Saint Matthew Passion was called "poetic", his portrayal of Germont in La Traviata "commanding" and his performance in the title role of Mikado "larger than life." In the title role of John Philip Sousa’s El Capitan Mr. Freeman was praised by Opera News for his performance’s "freshness and charm." The Lippische Landeszeitung in Detmold, Germany heralded his "rich voice" and overall performance of Copland’s Old American Songs. His repertoire includes more than 60 roles.
Mr. Freeman’s opera roles are wide-ranging, including: Figaro and Dr. Bartolo in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, Germont in Verdi’s La Traviata, the title role in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, Ottone in Monteverdi’s The Coronation of Poppea and numerous contemporary operatic works, including several world premieres. Operetta roles include Offenbach’s La Périchole as the Viceroy, Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore as Capt. Corchran and the title role in The Mikado, Hawley in Friml’s Rose Marie, Frank in J. Strauss’s Die Fledermaus and the title role in Sousa’s El Capitan. In zarzuela, Mr. Freeman has sung Don Hilarion in Tomás Bretón’s La verbena de la Paoloma and Jacinto Guerrero’s Los Gavilanes as Juan. He has also appeared to critical acclaim in premieres of several contemporary American operas, including title roles in Stephen Burton’s Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment and Henry Mollicone’s Emperor Norton.
Oratorio performances by Mr. Freeman have included the title role in Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s B-Minor Mass, St. Matthew Passion, and St. John Passion, Orff’s Carmina Burana and the requiems of Faure, Brahms and Mozart. His recital repertoire features works of Brahms, Schumann, Mahler, Vaughan Williams, Butterworth, Barber and numerous contemporary American composers.
Mr. Freeman has been a featured soloist with such groups as the New Dominion Chorale, Washington Bach Consort, the Kennedy Center’s Mozart Weekend with the National Symphony Orchestra, Opera Theatre of Northern Virginia, IN Series, Cathedral Choral Society, Arlington Symphony, Greenville (SC) Symphony Orchestra, Columbus (OH) Symphony Orchestra, Williamsburg (VA) Symphonia, Maryland Opera Society, Washington Savoyards, Reston Chorale, Prince George Opera, Opera International and many other musical and theatrical organizations.
Mr. Freeman is a founding member and Artistic Director of Vocal Soloists of Washington, a performing ensemble of singers and accompanists dedicated to promoting the wider appreciation of art song. He is also a Board member and Immediate Past President of the Board of Directors of the Opera Theatre of Northern Virginia, the oldest professional opera company in the state. He is also a former Board member of the American Guild of Musical Artists.
Recent engagements have included: a concert (with orchestra) of Vaughan Williams’ Songs of Travel in Detmold, Germany; stage play roles of Baptist in George Feydeau’s A Flea In Her Ear, Brid O'ison in Beaumarchais’ play The Marriage of Figaro and the Father in Bertolt Brecht’s The Good Woman of Setzuan, both with Constellation Theatre of Washington, DC; baritone soloist in Gabriel Faure’s Requiem; a lieder recital in Orange, Virginia with Vocal Soloists of Washington; producer of and performer in Opera Theatre of Northern Virginia’s A Grand Night For Song at Lubber Run Amphitheatre in Arlington; and Don Magnifico in a production of Rossini’s La Cenerentola adapted for children.
In his theatre work, Mr. Freeman is an Associate Artist with Constellation Theatre of Washington, DC, which received the 2009 Helen Hayes Award as Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company in the greater Washington area. His credits with Constellation include Brecht's Good Woman of Setzuan, Beaumarchais's The Marriage of Figaro, Feydeau's A Flea In Her Ear, Chekhov's Three Sisters and Middleton's Women Beware Women.
Mr. Freeman is a founding member and Artistic Director of Vocal Soloists of Washington, a performing ensemble of singers and accompanists dedicated to promoting the wider appreciation of art song. He has been a Board member and President of Auorora Opera Theatre (formerly Opera Theatre of Northern Virginia).