by Ebony L. Morman
Charlotte native and Providence Day School graduate Mahari Freeman is an operatic singer who frequently performs at events across the Carolinas. Freeman received her bachelor’s degree in music from UNC Chapel Hill and master’s in voice performance from the University of Michigan, and she’s currently working toward a doctorate in musical arts at the University of South Carolina.
Freeman is also the founder of La Voix Academy, a music school that offers in-home private music lessons to students across Charlotte and virtual lessons to students in various states and abroad. In her free time, she loves to travel and try new recipes with her husband, Demetris.
Freeman is a resident artist with Opera Carolina, which performs main stage events uptown along with various community events. “I just love being a part of that and seeing what they put on and the way they share opera with the community,” Freeman says. “I Dream is an opera they will be doing in the fall that I’m really excited to participate in.” Composer Douglas Tappin’s opera that reimagines the last hours of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life will be performed at Belk Theater Sept.16-19.
Comments have been edited for brevity and clarity.
I’m usually the one up [performing] the live music, but Tosco Music Party is a great place to listen to live music and local artists of various kinds. I’ve performed there as an opera singer, but they have everything — every kind of performer that you can think of, and every kind of music. It really is a party.
I love to go to Freedom Park. It’s probably my favorite place. Sometimes I love to just walk around and look at nature, sunshine and the ducks. Sometimes I’ll find a bike or scooter. [My friends and I] sometimes have picnic lunches at the park. I also have picnics there with my husband, and we’ll take board games. It actually holds a special place in our hearts because it’s one of the places where we had one of our first dates.
For over a year now, I have switched to vegetarianism, and sometimes I’m a vegan. I love places that can cook veggies in a creative way. Veltree is one of my favorite restaurants. It’s a Black-owned vegan restaurant. Another one is Dumpling Lady in Optimist Hall because they have great vegetarian options. I recently went to Texas and found this place called Velvet Taco and just realized they have one in Charlotte at Optimist Hall. It’s probably one of the best taco places I’ve ever been to. They have a Nashville hot tofu taco — it is so good.
We love to go to Charleston, S.C. My husband and I go there every year and go shopping. Asheville is also a really cool place we love to go. We like to do things on the Biltmore property like wine tastings and trying the various restaurants. They also have cute little shops, as well.
It depends on the mood. If I want something that’s designer, then my favorite place by far is SouthPark Mall. My mom is my shopping buddy — she and I can go there and spend the whole afternoon. Another place I like is Blakeney Shopping Center. They have really cute boutiques and they have good restaurants. I enjoy just spending an afternoon there, especially if the weather is good.
I’m a naturalista, so I really enjoy wearing my natural hair. I go to Nourish Salon. Corine is my stylist. She’s also a really good family friend. I also enjoy getting my nails done. I go to V Refine Nails in Ballantyne. It’s run by three sisters, and I really like them because they take their time. It’s always a good experience.
I like to work out a lot. I go to Pure Barre Charlotte in Myers Park. I try to go four to five days a week. I really like their classes because they are 50 minutes long. They are controlled and have low-impact movements. I finally made it to the 100 Barre Club, which is really exciting for me. … It goes into self care. It’s a great hour for myself in the day. SP