13 Jul 2005
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.
with utopia. Add an inexhaustible supply of passion. Make a few informed suggestions. Then, and only then, talk politics.
It sounds like a recipe for artistic disaster, but when you marry it to the sun and locale of southern France, it has a habit of turning into paradise. That, at least, is the experience of most visitors to the Aix-en-Provence festival these past few summers. You have the perfect weather, the gastronomie, the suitably distressed 18th-century architecture and a bronzed landscape as fit for creativity as it is for relaxation. All that's needed on top is the vision, patience and political will to harness energy — the energy of performing artists.