15 Nov 2005
The Real Bach at Leipzig
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 STUART ISACOFF [NY Sun, 15 November 2005]
"Bach at Leipzig," Itamar Moses's farce about an 18th-century contest among seven musicians vying for a post in Leipzig left open by the death of Johann Kuhnau - a position eventually filled by Johann Sebastian Bach - brings to mind a cartoon drawing I saw several years ago. In it, the venerable Bach is attempting to compose at home amid the ruckus of children chasing each other around the room and a wife screaming from the kitchen, "Johann - take out the garbage!"