05 Oct 2005
The Merry Widow at the Millennium Centre, Cardiff
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.
Rian Evans [The Guardian, 5 October 2005]
There's no particular shame in an opera company taking operetta and tarting it up. The best houses in the world do The Merry Widow, its tale of the attempt to save the crumbling state of Pontevedro by securing the wealth of a mega-rich widow has always been popular. Welsh National Opera mark the piece's centenary with this production, but the honour done to its composer, Franz Lehar, would have been rather greater had they concerned themselves less with the title role and more with ensuring good singers in the rest of the cast.