01 Jun 2006
This Time, the Elephant Man Sings
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.
By HEIDI WALESON [Wall Street Journal, 31 May 2006]
St. Paul, Minn.
The recent vogue for Handel operas -- for example, nine were performed by U.S. opera companies last season, compared with none 15 years ago -- has fueled the emergence of a generation of countertenors, high-voiced men who take on the heroic male roles originally written for castrati. Non-Baroque roles for these singers are few, but the Minnesota Opera came up with one in its most recent production, "Joseph Merrick, the Elephant Man" by Laurent Petitgirard.