26 Sep 2005
'Falstaff' With All the Details in Place
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 Anne Midgette [NY Times, 26 September 2005]
Verdi's rich "Falstaff" pours out ideas in a fast-moving stream of glinting music. In James Levine's hands at the Metropolitan Opera on Friday evening, the score emerged from the first notes as burnished, full-bodied and warm as the title character himself. Then Dr. Caius (Peter Bronder in his Met debut) took the stage and began singing in a strong, firm tenor.
When such a small part is so well cast, you are in for an unusual evening; the attention to detail that characterized this performance has become, unfortunately, unusual.