10 Jul 2006
Will Crutchfield's 'Bel Canto at Caramoor' Gives the Potential of the Voice and the Possibilities of the Style
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.
KATONAH, N.Y., July 8 — When Will Crutchfield began directing his Bel Canto at Caramoor series at the Caramoor International Music Festival here in 1992, he insisted on the flexibility offered in the series title. He mainly wanted to give new life to the bel canto repertory, a distinct body of Italian opera defined historically by the careers of Rossini and Verdi, at either end, and stylistically by a focus on the beauty and the virtuosic potential of the voice, to the virtual exclusion of other theatrical and operatic values, like sensible librettos and deeply considered orchestral writing.