09 Nov 2005
Il diluvio universale, Theatre Royal, London
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 [Financial Times, 9 November 2005]
An ill-fated star hung over this event, the latest in a line of bel canto revivals promoted by Patric Schmid of Opera Rara. Just before it started Schmid collapsed and died backstage. The show went on and presumably the recording will too, but Opera Rara has lost the driving force behind its 35-year run. Schmid was not just an enthusiast; he was a connoisseur with a way of making things work.