03 Mar 2006
Opera: Sir John in Love
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.
Richard Morrison at the Coliseum [Times Online, 4 March 2006]
SINCE professional productions of Vaughan Williams’s Falstaff opera come round every 48 years or so, we should savour Ian Judge’s delightful new staging for English National Opera. Shifting Shakespeare’s merry wives to the Edwardian Home Counties of Vaughan Williams’s own era works well; it makes the dissolute old knight seem even more adrift amid the increasingly assertive middle-classes. John Gunter’s flexible wood-framed set also cleverly hops epochs. It is skeletonal enough to evoke both Tudor gables and mock-Tudor suburbia.