19 Oct 2005
Alcina at Hackney Empire, 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.
Erica Jeal [The Guardian, 19 October 2005]
English Touring Opera has had success with Handel in recent years, but that doesn't mean the composer's operas travel well. Take Alcina: suggesting we are on an enchanted island ruled by the eponymous sorceress, who has a habit of turning discarded lovers into stones, waves and trees, is tricky with a lavish permanent set, let alone something that has to fit on a variety of stages and be dismantled before bedtime.