31 Jan 2006
Don Giovanni, Palais Garnier, Paris
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 Richard Fairman [Financial Times, 31 January 2006]
Last Friday was Mozart Day - 250 years since music's greatest prodigy was born in Salzburg. Opera houses worldwide celebrated the event, but the Opéra national de Paris was particularly keyed up after word went out that there was a scandal in town. The Austrian film director Michael Caché Haneke, known for his bleak and transgressive, even sado- masochistic movies, had come to Paris to direct his first opera. A news blackout increased the thirst for rumour and, as the curtain fell, well-primed TV crews rushed into the auditorium to film the audience baying for his blood.