15 Apr 2006
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.
Can it be that the great egoist of opera had a feminist streak? Is Brünnhilde the true heroine of the Ring? The truth lies in the music, argues Natasha Walter
[Guardian, 15 April 2006]
If I ever thought about Wagner before I first saw a performance of one of his operas, a certain image sprang to mind. A stage full of blond singers, perhaps including a monumental soprano with plaits and a helmet, but certainly centering on the triumph of an Aryan hero, accompanied by blaring music full of brass and percussion. There was something macho about the whole scenario, and I had no interest in it at all.