15 Jan 2006
The Yeomen of New York
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.
Does anyone do this specialized repertory better than the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players?
By Peter G. Davis [New York Magazine, 23 January 2006]
Lots of good folk out there are still passionate about Gilbert & Sullivan, emerging every January when the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players take over City Center. This year’s season was limited to a week’s run of H.M.S. Pinafore and The Mikado, and the two matinees I attended were packed. True fans can’t get enough of these operettas, even though many of them know each one by heart—newcomers excepted, of course, like the bug-eyed kid next to me on his dad’s lap, hugely enjoying his first Pinafore. Neither Gilbert nor Sullivan was able to conjure up this kind of special magic on his own or with other collaborators. Perhaps the fact that they could barely tolerate each other—an antipathy tempered by a healthy mutual respect—kept their creativity so potent.