27 Nov 2006
Britten's Queen for the Ages
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 BENJAMIN IVRY [NY Sun, 27 November 2006]
The Queen, it seems, is all the rage. First it was television, on which Dame Helen Mirren made her wildly successful acting turn as Elizabeth I in the eponymous Golden Globe-winning TV film. Then it was the movies, in which Ms. Mirren played Queen Elizabeth II in film director Stephen Frears's much buzzed about "The Queen." Now such royal mania may extend to the opera stage, where there are signs that a longdismissed opera by Benjamin Britten about Elizabeth I,"Gloriana," may finally be gaining wide appreciation.