20 Dec 2005
Acoustics first, then architecture
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.
The city of Wroclaw has had several names in its 1,000-year existence and the current one helps disguise its past. When the borders of Poland were shifted westwards at the Potsdam Conference in 1945 the German city of Breslau ceased to exist. Much was already gone, thanks to Hitler and the Red Army. As a final gesture, the city was entirely repopulated. What was left of its German population was expelled, and residents of the Polish city of Lvov, which ended up in Ukraine, were ordered to move to Wroclaw.