29 Oct 2006
First performances are not all of a feather
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.
Bird of Night fails to lift Paul Driver, but premieres of Maxwell Davies and Knussen prove transporting [Times Online, 29 October 2006]
Of four premieres I attended in the past few days, the grandest was the least. For the first time, the Royal Opera has commissioned a work from a woman, the Trinidadian Dominique Le Gendre, and it was staged at the Linbury. In 2003, a 20-minute opus by her had been put on there as part of A Nitro at the Opera — a Sunday of “black operas”.