21 Aug 2005
Sir John and Me
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.
My week: John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor
Alastair Sooke speaks to the conductor
[Daily Telegraph, 20 August 2005]
I am a farmer as well as a musician. Harvest has started on my organic farm in north Dorset, but I needed to work on my scores of Walton's First Symphony, which I'm conducting at the Proms. It's the first time I've done this virtuosic piece and I've spent hours memorising the music. I'm also writing a biography of Bach, which is proving a colossal project. You only need one curveball - like a machine breaking down - and your planning, however well-intentioned, goes down the plughole.