28 Feb 2006
Orfeo ed Euridice, Lyric Opera of Chicago
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 George Loomis [Financial Times, 28 February 2006]
It is foolish to argue that countertenors have a more valid claim on castrato roles than mezzo-sopranos. But countertenors have largely appropriated the title role of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice in its original version. For one thing, mezzos nowadays generally favour the plusher, more expansive French revision (as rearranged by Berlioz). And the radical simplicity of the no-frills original makes the disembodied sound of the countertenor especially apt.