08 Mar 2006
A Memento and a Harbinger: The Met Ponders a Crossroads
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 Charles Michener [NY Observer, 13 March 2006]
Peter Gelb, who’s slated to take the helm at the Metropolitan Opera this summer, recently told a reporter that he wants to “reconnect it to the world.” A former top executive at Sony Music with a fondness for merging the divergent voices of classical, jazz and pop artists, Mr. Gelb plans to increase the number of new productions per season from four to seven; hire notable directors from film and theater to stage the novelties; commission new works from non-operatic composers; embrace new technology to transmit Met performances; and in general make the Met more sympathetic to the unwashed who are presumed to regard going to grand opera as the equivalent of a duty call on their grandmother.