22 Aug 2005
Rossini's Adelaide di Borgogna at Edinburgh
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.
Adelaide di Borgogna
Tim Ashley [The Guardian, 22 August 2005]
First performed in 1817, Rossini's Adelaide di Borgogna is a questionable effort. A product of the confusion of post-Napoleonic Europe, its subject is monarchical legitimacy and individual fitness for government. The opera deals with the eponymous medieval Italian queen, who requested military assistance from the German emperor Ottone when the brutish Berengario usurped her throne. Berengario, in his turn, was determined to legitimise his dynasty by forcibly marrying Adelaide to his son Adelberto.