07 Nov 2005
Madam Butterfly at Coliseum, 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.
Tom Service [The Guardian, 7 November 2005]
Anyone expecting images of cinematic brilliance from Anthony Minghella's new production of Puccini's Madam Butterfly for English National Opera will not be disappointed. He stages the end of the first act, the love duet between Mary Plazas's frail Butterfly and Gwyn Hughes Jones's passionate Pinkerton, as an elaborate ballet with Japanese lanterns and an entire orchard of pink cherry blossom. It's an image worthy of the hype that has surrounded Minghella's debut as an opera director.