13 Dec 2006
A tantrum too far
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.
First tenor Roberto Alagna storms out of Aida, then his wife Angela Gheorghiu quits the Royal Opera House. Are they too big for their boots, asks Martin Kettle
[Guardian, 13 December 2006]
It is the perfect grand opera story. A superstar tenor sings underwhelmingly at the world's most exacting opera house and storms off stage with a shake of the fist amid a torrent of booing. An understudy in jeans is thrown on in his place and has a night of triumph. Roberto Alagna's walkout from La Scala's season-opening Franco Zeffirelli production of Verdi's Aida is an opera story with everything - and with the bonus that it confirms all our prejudices about the art form, too.