01 Apr 2006
Stepping Onstage as a Waitress, She May Exit the Met as a Star
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.
(Photo: Leif R. Jansson)
By DANIEL J. WAKIN [NY Times, 1 April 2006]
Until 18 months ago, Erika Sunnegardh, a soprano, had never sung an opera role on stage.
For nearly 20 years she toiled as a waitress, caterer and tour guide in New York. Sure, there was singing: a few recitals and plenty of funerals as a church cantor in the Bronx. Often the choice boiled down to rent or voice lessons.