19 Aug 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.
Melodrama wasn't always about villains twirling moustaches. It was once regarded as high art. Misha Donat on how the genre and its composers changed opera for ever
[The Guardian, 19 August 2005]
"Nothing has ever surprised me so much," wrote Mozart enthusiastically to his father after seeing Georg Benda's melodrama Medea in Mannheim, towards the end of 1778. "It is not sung, but only declaimed, and the music is like an obbligato recitative. Occasionally there is also speech underneath the music, which makes a marvellous effect. Do you know what I think? One ought to treat operatic recitative in this way, and only have sung recitative when the words can be well expressed by the music."