11 Jan 2006
Toasting A Legend Of the Opera
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 FRED KIRSHNIT [NY Sun, 11 January 2006]
In the 1940s and '50s there were several great Carmens, but none as saucy as Rise Stevens.Those fortunate enough to own an original 1951 Victor recording of the Bizet masterpiece, conducted by Fritz Reiner and featuring the dream cast of Jan Peerce, Robert Merrill, and Licia Albanese, know that the album cover, a serpentine Ms. Stevens practically lunging off of the cardboard, is as lurid as any east of the corner of Haight and Ashbury. On Monday evening, the Metropolitan Opera Guild and Opera News magazine paid tribute to Ms. Stevens at the Rose Theater.