So Anna Netrebko walks into a bar...

While sitting at the bar of a restaurant across from the opera house Friday night, I was surprised to see Anna Netrebko and Charles Castronovo casually stroll in after performing in La Traviata (I wasn't at the performance, but was coming from seeing Hiromi Uehara next door- she'll get her own post).

Since I thought the recently published photos of her for the Chron interview were pretty unflattering, I'm happy to report Netrebko still looks great from three feet away (I had another chance close-up sighting of her in Costa Mesa a couple of years ago when I found myself standing next to her and Rolando Villazon). She seemed fine to wait while the restaurant arranged for their party table upstairs. It appeared that many people in the restaurant didn't even recognize her, as the public left her alone and nary a fuss was raised over the opera world's most desired diva- or is it the locals are just too cool to fawn over her?

I resisted the urge to ask to have my picture taken with her, though I'll admit to the temptation. I was really hoping she'd pop down on the empty stool two to my left. So was the guy seated to my left. Alas, both of us were disappointed.