16 Jun 2006
Tales of our times
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.
Political operas are safe enough when they are historical, but what happens when the protagonists are still very much alive? Andrew Clements charts the groundbreaking works of John Adams [The Guardian, 16 June 2006]
When John Adams's Doctor Atomic premiered in San Francisco last October, it signalled a departure for the composer. In chronicling the events leading up to the explosion of the first atomic bomb in the New Mexico desert in 1945, Doctor Atomic dealt with issues and, more significantly, historical characters, far enough removed from the present to be presented in a detached, objective way, even if the consequences are still very much issues for us today.