24 Sep 2005
The hopelessness of modern opera
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.
[Daily Telegraph, 24 September 2005]
Andrew O'Hagan on why opera is not the kind of drama he can believe in when set in a modern context
The heart lifts whenever the great opera houses try their hands at something modern. But why does it lift? Why are we so married to the notion that the arts must go forward? We are always scampering after something new and progressive, perhaps to feel refreshed, perhaps to see our own time's reflection, but the classic operas require no updating.