24 Jul 2006
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.
Richard Morrison at the Coliseum [Times Online, 25 July 2006]
These days Katerina Izmaylova is a rarity. Western opera houses, at least, prefer Shostakovich’s opera about the repressed merchant’s wife who turns triple-murderer in its original 1932 version, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. That is regarded as being edgier and earthier, whereas the toned-down Katerina, produced 30 years later, is seen as a product of self-censorship on the part of a composer psychologically devastated by official attacks on his music.