24 Feb 2006
What Opera Owes to Dance
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 JOEL LOBENTHAL [NY Sun, 24 February 2006]
Sometimes lost amid critical appraisals of opera is the art form's movement quotient, which involves both set-piece ballets and the ways that directors and singers use movement to interpret character and situation. It was de rigueur in most 19thcentury grand operas for at least one, and frequently multiple ballets to be interpolated into the evening's pageantry. Today these ballets are often considered gratuitous and cut, but a case can be made that they have a vital role to play in the operas for which they were composed.