30 May 2006
Check the Numbers: Rumors of Classical Music's Demise Are Dead Wrong
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.
EVERYONE has heard the requiems sung for classical music or at least the reports of its failing health: that its audience is graying, record sales have shriveled and the cost of live performance is rising as ticket sales decline. Music education has virtually disappeared from public schools. Classical programming has (all but) disappeared from television and radio. And 17 orchestras have closed in the last 20 years.