24 May 2006
Fidelio, Barbican, 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.
By Andrew Clark [Financial Times, 24 May 2006]
The advantage of hearing Fidelio in concert, especially in a performance as eloquent as this, is that you appreciate the beauties of Beethoven’s conception and not its incongruities. In the theatre his only opera seems to house so many different, often conflicting, genres – from Singspiel to cantata – that it is not surprising the moral drama sometimes slips through the cracks. In concert that element comes out surprisingly well, and how noble and challenging it is, but what emerges even more strongly is the symphonic conception.