28 Feb 2006
The shocking death of Thomas Becket is brought to life in an opera
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 Michael Church [The Independent, 28 February 2006]
The courtier is talented and loyal. Promoted to chancellor, he ruthlessly implements his master's will. But, when given a top religious job as well, he unexpectedly resigns his secular one and changes overnight from hedonist to ascetic: now he's the people's hero and the scourge of the rich. His master explodes in fury; the two men, once bosom pals, effect a partial reconciliation, but the former courtier's new-found principles provoke another row. The enraged master berates his henchmen for letting this upstart run riot: they confront the upstart at his workplace, and kill him.