07 Nov 2005
La Forza del Destino War Memorial, San Francisco
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 Allan Ulrich [Financial Times, 7 November 2005]
Under its departing director Pamela Rosenberg, the San Francisco Opera has conquered the most problematic of Verdi's mature works with a gripping production. The producer Ron Daniels's scheme generally shuns realistic detail and embraces the inherent crudities and catchpenny coincidences of Francisco Piave's libretto, transforming them into an epic of cosmic absurdity.