04 Nov 2005
Le Nozze di Figaro, Metropolitan Opera, New York
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 Martin Bernheimer [Financial Times, 4 November 2005]
The Met opened its season last September with a “gala” comprising isolated segments of three dissimilar operas. A striking curtainraiser involved act one of Le Nozze di Figaro with a stellar cast led by Bryn Terfel, Isabel Bayrakdarian and Susan Graham. James Levine exuded sympathy while enforcing stylish propulsion in the pit. Cock- eared optimists assumed this was a preview of coming seasonal attractions. When Figaro returned on Wednesday, however, standards had changed drastically. So had the conductor and ensemble.