25 Feb 2006
La Bohème at Royal Albert Hall
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.
George Hall [The Guardian, 25 February 2006]
Given the intimacy of its outer acts, Puccini's tale of love and death among impoverished artists ought not to work in such a vast space as the Albert Hall. But much of Francesca Zambello's in-the-round arena production does succeed, with the spareness of Peter J Davison's freezing garret brilliantly lit by Andrew Bridge and the irresponsible laddishness of the four flatmates is nicely suggested.