25 Oct 2006
La bohème, Royal Opera House, London
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 Richard Fairman [Financial Times, 24 October 2006]
When the Royal Opera’s production of La bohème was new in 1974, half these singers probably were not born. In an ideal world a cast of young faces would be just what is needed to breathe life into a middle-aged production apt to sag in the middle, but it did not work out like that here. Far from being bright and breezy, this performance felt positively enervating.