13 Sep 2005
Dom Sebastien, Roi De Portugal, Royal Opera House, London
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 Roderic Dunnett [The Independent, 13 September 2005]
A Christian nation invades an Islamic desert state. The campaign gets bogged down. Their leader comes in for a bit of flak back home. Sound familiar? Donizetti penned his last opera, Dom Sébastien, roi de Portugal, for the Paris stage in 1843. It's rarely produced, and it's difficult to see why. Scribe, who concocted umpteen libretti, was at the height of his powers, and this one is neither slow nor stodgy.