10 Jul 2006
Turandot — Royal Opera House, 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.
Andrei Serban's production of Puccini's dark, oriental fairytale has been a staple at Covent Garden for more than 20 years. Once again neatly and effectively staged by Jeremy Sutcliffe, its vitality and spectacle continue to provide a strong visual frame for the score's alternately garish and delicate colours and its disturbing blend of blood-lust and eroticism.