28 Jul 2006
The Fiery Angel, ROH, 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, 28 July 2006]
Unperformed in the composer's lifetime, Prokofiev's The Fiery Angel attained something akin to cult status in the last decades of the 20th century. A study of demonic possession and collective hysteria, the opera hit raw nerves as the Soviet Union began to crumble: there were iconic performances in St Petersburg in 1992 and at Covent Garden a year later. Francesca Zambello's new production for Moscow's Bolshoi Opera, marking the start of the company's first ever London season, reimagines the work as a parable of totalitarian implosion.