24 Apr 2006
Semiramide, Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Paris
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 Francis Carlin [Financial Times, 24 April 2006]
Warrior queen Semiramide murdered her husband years ago but his ghost has come back to haunt her and her accomplice, Assur. This new production is haunted too, by the ghosts of superlative performers who gave one of Rossini’s most exacting scores the luxury treatment it requires. That was 25 years ago in this same theatre and the singers were Montserrat Caballe, Marilyn Horne and Samuel Ramey.