07 Apr 2006
La Belle Helene, Coliseum, London
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.
Trouble in the Greek camp
By Edward Seckerson [Indepdent, 7 April 2006]
What's this, a scene from Desperate Housewives? A suburban bedroom: the door to the en suite bathroom is ajar, the light on, a familiar overture playing on the radio, and the sound of gargling. Ablutions complete, a female form floats into view and with barely a cursory glance at the reclining, snoring figure in her marital bed, joins him. But this is no ordinary housewife. Desperate or not, this is La Belle Hélène and the face that launched a thousand ships has had better nights. At last the overture proper strikes up and Laurent Pelly's campy production of Offenbach's racy operetta is up, up, and away.