23 Feb 2006
Macbeth — Royal Opera House, London
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.
Martin Kettle [The Guardian, 23 February 2006]
Even today, Macbeth too often fails to win the critical respect lavished on Verdi's two later and more finished Shakespeare operas. But neither does it quite hold a place in the public's affection that is granted to the other peaks of his early and middle period output. Admittedly, without Boito as librettist, Macbeth is a more pragmatic and less ambitious opera than Otello or Falstaff, while the 1865 revision we normally hear is an occasionally clunky reworking of the searingly original 1847 version.