27 Sep 2005
A timeless jest is polished
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.
By Justin Davidson [Newsday, 27 September 2005]
An assortment of 19th century European nobility sequestered in a sumptuous hotel: What could be the setup for a murder mystery or a reality show serves equally well for a comic opera, Rossini's "Il Viaggio a Reims." The title speaks of a voyage, but these pampered travelers aren't going anywhere: There's a shortage of horses, it seems. Instead, they while away a couple of acts in vocal arabesques.