14 Oct 2005
Le Nozze di Figaro
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.
Tom Service [The Guardian, 14 October 2005]
At the end of Glyndebourne Touring Opera's production of The Marriage of Figaro - a revival of Graham Vick's 2000 staging, directed here by Jacopo Spirei - there is an unforgettable image. After the Count's plea for forgiveness from the radiant Countess of Kate Royal, the hurtling bustle of the final chorus ends with Royal being laid on the ground and swaddled in a white sheet and flowers. It's a strange, pagan-looking ritual of virginal purity that also looks like a funerary rite. I have never been more sure that, far from a resolution to the drama, the events of Da Ponte's crazy day are doomed only to repeat themselves, at the cost of the Countess's sanity.