26 Jun 2006
Soile Isokoski / Marita Viitasalo — Wigmore 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.
Tim Ashley [Guardian, 26 June 2006]
The final encore of Soile Isokoski's recital was a song by Finnish composer Aarre Merikanto entitled, quite simply, I Sing. It's a restrained, if ecstatic post-Romantic number, and in many respects, it sums Isokoski up. She ranks among today's finest sopranos by virtue of the fact that her voice is one of the greatest in the world, hitting you in the solar plexus each time you listen to it. On a concert platform, however, she's remarkably self-effacing, never indulging in self-conscious histrionics and concentrating all her energies on the expressive potential of the glorious sound that issues from her throat.