19 Dec 2005
Voices of doom at the 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.
Anthony Holden [The Guardian, 18 December 2005]
The year ended with English National Opera back in turmoil, as the abrupt departure of its artistic director and chief executive, Sean Doran, led to calls for that of its chairman, Martin Smith. Despite box-office successes with Jude Kelly's On The Town and Anthony Minghella's Madam Butterfly, and a fine Clemenza di Tito from David McVicar, ENO has never settled back into artistic self-confidence since Smith fired the country's most reliable man-about-opera, Nicholas Payne, in 2002. As it prepares for further strife over sur-titles above opera in English, amid huge financial problems and staff muttering, the company's future must now be declared uncertain.