04 Oct 2005
Oppenheimer as a myth for our time
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 Andrew Clark [4 October 2005]
The countdown was approaching zero. The audience at San Francisco's War Memorial Opera House had sat through a 2½-hour collage of dialogue, dance, techno-speak, solo reverie and choral meditation, all pointing to the cataclysmic explosion that everyone knew would crown John Adams's new opera Doctor Atomic. Climax or anti-climax? How would America's leading classical composer deal with the nuclear option, which in 1945 changed the world? As the musical clock ticked towards the end, the moment had an inborn theatricality.