04 Nov 2005
Royal/Lepper at Wigmore Hall, 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.
Tim Ashley [The Guardian, 4 November 2005]
Kate Royal is well on her way to establishing herself as one of the finest sopranos to have emerged in Britain for some years. We tend to think of her primarily as a Mozartian: her performances of some of the concert arias at this year's Proms and as Zaide at the Edinburgh festival linger in the memory as being startlingly beautiful; her Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro for Gyndebourne on Tour has been received with enthusiasm. For her recital with pianist Simon Lepper, however, she turned away from Mozart to Brahms, Schumann and Debussy, with equally impressive results.