28 Sep 2005
Entranced by a heartbreakingly magical Verdi
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.
[Photo: Marty Sohl / The Metropolitan Opera]
By Marion Lignana Rosenberg [Newsday, 27 September 2005]
Sir Isaiah Berlin deemed Verdi the last of the great "naive" composers: simple, un-self-conscious, concealed by his work. There is truth to Sir Isaiah's claim, but it withers before the bittersweet fancy of "Falstaff" (1893), crafted by the 79-year-old Verdi as his farewell to the stage.