06 Feb 2006
A Violetta to Conquer the Scenery
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 BERNARD HOLLAND [NY Times, 6 February 2006]
The Metropolitan Opera had Angela Gheorghiu in mind when it put together its present production of "La Traviata" eight years ago. Franco Zeffirelli was brought in to do one of his opulent designer jobs on the Verdi favorite, but in rehearsals what operatic diplomats like to call "artistic differences" sent Ms. Gheorghiu on her way. Replacement strategies were visited by bad health and bad luck, and in the end this "Traviata" was sent out into the world resembling (as I wrote at the time) the aftermath of a neutron bomb attack: the gorgeous structures intact but not much human action going on inside them.