01 Nov 2005
Maria di Rohan, Theatre Royal, Wexford
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 1 November 2005]
The most interesting decade for Italian opera was not the 1820s, when Rossini was at his zenith, nor the 1850s, when Verdi became the dominant force. No, it was the 1840s, when the old decorative conventions gave way to a modern, through- composed type of drama. We owe it to the Wexford festival these past few years for profiling this trend.