03 Nov 2005
Stellar combo helps Lyric deliver winner
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 John von Rhein [Chicago Tribune, 2 November 2005]
"Manon Lescaut" is, first and foremost, a vehicle for two great singers. The general dearth of performers who can do justice to the formidable leading roles is the chief reason why Lyric Opera has not mounted Puccini's earliest success for 28 years.
For the handsome new production that opened Monday at the Civic Opera House, the Lyric has come up with opera's version of the classic one-two punch, casting two leading luminaries, Karita Mattila and Vladimir Galouzine, as the eponymous heroine and her lover, the Chevalier Des Grieux.