26 Jun 2005
Tan Dun Arrives at the Met
Raphaela Papadakis seems to like ‘playing with fire’. After her acclaimed performance as the put-upon maid, Anna, in Independent Opera’s production of Šimon Voseček’s Beidermann and the Arsonists at Sadler’s Wells last year, she is currently rehearsing for the premiere this week of And London Burned, a new opera by Matt Rogers which has been commissioned by Temple Music Foundation to commemorate the 350th anniversary of The Great Fire of London.
In mid-May, a Federal Express package containing three copies of a 226-page musical manuscript thumped on the desk of Sarah Billinghurst, the assistant manager for artistic affairs at the Metropolitan Opera. It was sent by Tan Dun, the Chinese-born avant-garde composer whom the Met had commissioned eight years ago to write an opera. Seeing the half score, Ms. Billinghurst said she felt "ecstatically happy."