11 Sep 2006
Tragic Love in a Garret, on the Brink of World War I
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 STEVE SMITH [NY Times, 11 September 2006]
In a short behind-the-scenes documentary film screened before the third act of Puccini’s “Bohème” during the Opera-for-All celebration at New York City Opera on Friday, the director, James Robinson, called the piece “director-proof.” He was half right. While it’s probably true that the stirring passions and sumptuous music in this work can survive all manner of stage treatments, a smart production can definitely heighten the impact of Puccini’s powerful score.