26 Nov 2005
A Guided Tour Through the Ruin of 'Oberon'
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 BERNARD HOLLAND [NY Times, 27 November 2005]
GERMAN civilization has had a lot to answer for in the last 200 years, but Exhibit A in its defense might be Carl Maria von Weber. No one else's music could be purer of heart and yet so unmistakably German. People confuse moral behavior and art at their peril, but Weber's last opera, "Oberon," like so much of his music, tempts us to do just that. It emits an uncomplicated humanity: an implied goodness that in our more cynical time is received with undeserved wariness.