13 Aug 2006
L’italiana in Algeri, Rossini Opera Festival Pesaro, Italy
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 Shirley Apthorp [Financial Times, 13 August 2006]
Was it the bare-breasted dancing-girls, the cavorting zebra, or the lone fleeing communist during Isabella’s patriotic aria to Italy that annoyed them? Perhaps it was simply Dario Fo himself, appearing to take his bow. There was something Pavlovian about the chorus of boos at the end of Pesaro’s L’Italiana in Algeri revival. It is hard to imagine that anything in this sweetly ingenuous 1994 production could really cause offence. Parts of the audience seem to boo Fo as a matter of principle.