23 Feb 2006
The Kirov's 'Parsifal': Russo-Profundo
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 Joe Banno [Washington Post, 23 February 2006]
If "Die Meistersinger" is the Wagner opera for non-Wagnerians, "Parsifal" is the one for true believers. Uninitiated opera-goers can find "Parsifal's" daunting length and glacial pace, its half-digested Buddhism and quasi-Christian sanctimony a form of unspeakable torture. But those under the composer's spell understand the work's hypnotic pull and cathartic power -- not to mention its sheer gorgeousness.