13 Mar 2006
Rags and Riches: Joplin's Flawed Masterpiece
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 GEORGE LOOMIS [NY Sun, 13 March 2006]
No one would argue that Scott Joplin's opera "Treemonisha" packs the dramatic punch of an opera byVerdi, who truly understood theater. The plot about former slaves who run a plantation abandoned by its white owners is slight, and the opera's message, that education is the key to black advancement, seems disconcertingly naive for an opera dating from 1911.