25 Sep 2006
The Man and His Music
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 Shaun Walker [Russia Profile, 25 September 2006]
Shostakovich Centenary Brings a Flood of Performances
One hundred years ago today, Dmitry Shostakovich was born in St. Petersburg, into a country that had just experienced the first stirrings of revolution. Shostakovich’s body of work firmly ensconces him as one of the 20th century’s most important composers and one of the most notable musicians in history. But, given the revolution, war, and societal upheaval that formed a backdrop to his life, the music itself is often overshadowed by his complex relationship with the tumultuous events that unfolded during his lifetime.