21 Mar 2006
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.
Geoff Brown at the Alhambra, Bradford [Times Online, 21 March 2006]
Among the world’s migrating swallows, Puccini’s lyric comedy La Rondine is always a welcome visitor, well able to enchant despite critical carping ever since its debut in 1917. Puccini’s biographer Mosco Carner mentioned “a bird with half-broken wings”; but when a production hits the spot like Francesca Zambello’s 1994 creation for Opera North, this hybrid opera-operetta flies perfectly well.