22 May 2006
Shostakovich: Settling old Soviet scores
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.
Stalin denounced Shostakovich's opera but had a soft spot for his ballet. Now the Kirov wants to take the politics out of the music. David Lister reports
[Independent, 22 May 2006]
The relationship between the great 20th-century Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich and the dictator Joseph Stalin was a complex one, and is still sometimes misunderstood.