16 Dec 2005
Irresistibly moving — Billy Budd, Coliseum
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 Spectator, 17 December 2005]
English National Opera’s production of Billy Budd originated in Wales seven years ago, and is also shared with Opera Australia. Neil Armfield is the producer, and the set design is by Brian Thomson. It is an hydraulic platform, which in Cardiff occupied the whole stage, but at the Coliseum leaves a lot of surrounding space unused, and induces less claustrophobia in the audience, though it could well, in its restless heaving, cause motion sickness.