06 Jun 2006
Sumi Jo at the Kennedy Center
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.
Sunday night, celebrated coloratura Sumi Jo gave a recital in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. This concert, which should have been a major musical event, was not publicized well -- I did what I could by recommending it the previous Sunday -- and therefore sadly undersold. Jo is celebrating her 20th anniversary as an opera singer with a recital tour, apparently self-funded. In true diva style, she wore three different gowns, of increasing levels of outrageousness, over the course of thirteen pieces of music.