05 Jan 2006
Hansel and Gretel
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.
Andrew Clements [The Guardian, 5 January 2006]
Watching Hansel and Gretel amid the Victorian splendour of Leeds Town Hall is like seeing the whole opera from inside the witch's house. The pipes of the organ look so much as if they have been carved out of marzipan you expect one of the children to climb up and bite a chunk out of them. But Opera North's new version of Engelbert Humper-dinck's opera, a staged concert performance directed by John Fulljames and designed by Soutra Gilmour, is determined to give it another, more contemporary resonance. Musical instrument cases are an important element in a production that is played around and about the orchestra, but the main reference is far more specific.