14 Jun 2006
Karita Mattila, Barbican Hall, 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.
Packing for a recital tour must be quite a business for Karita Mattila. First there are the evening gowns (she wore two at this recital, one white and elegant, the other a more racy, sky-blue number). Then there are the piles of music from as many different countries. And finally there is the outsize personality that can leave an audience feeling mildly shell-shocked, uncertain whether they have in fact been in the presence of a clandestine member of the camp torch song brigade.