26 Sep 2005
Welcome to the Golden Age
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 Jay Nordlinger [NY Sun, 26 September 2005]
Over the weekend, the Metropolitan Opera presented two great operas, to magnificent effect. On Friday night, it was Verdi's "Falstaff." And on Saturday afternoon, it was Strauss's "Ariadne auf Naxos." We'll consider the second performance first.
In recent memory, the Met has had many top singers in "Ariadne": Jessye Norman and Deborah Voigt as the Prima Donna; Tatiana Troyanos and Susanne Mentzer as the Composer; Kathleen Battle and Natalie Dessay as Zerbinetta. The current cast includes Violeta Urmana (the Prima Donna), Susan Graham (the Composer), and Diana Damrau (Zerbinetta). It's hard to imagine that this team could ever be outdone.