25 Oct 2005
Before being put to death, Norma would like to say a few words -- and sing her heart out
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.
Steven Winn, [SF Chronicle, 25 October 2005]
Moments after the heroine's hushed confession, in the final scene of "Norma" at the War Memorial Opera House, the chorus murmurs a heartsick response: "Our blood runs cold." The audience feels it right along with them. Here, in a San Francisco Opera production that has some substantial liabilities to overcome, the power of Bellini's 1831 masterpiece shines through in all its ravishing, blood-chilling complexity.