25 May 2006
Duke Bluebeard's Castle/Erwartung, Royal Opera House, 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.
The dangers of digging into a soul's secrets
By Michael Church [Independent, 25 May 2006]
As the willing bride of a serial wife-murderer, Judith embodies a quintessentially Freudian fantasy: Bartok's Duke Bluebeard's Castle plugs directly into psychoanalysis. And when the curtain rises on John Macfarlane's richly suggestive set, that exploratory feeling will be reinforced. This one-act, two-character opera may last only an hour, but it's a huge challenge for the mezzo who stars in it. In Petra Lang, the Royal Opera have found a singer well equal to the challenge.