21 Dec 2006
In a Multitude of ‘Messiah’ Choirs, One Group That Might Reign Forever and Ever
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 ALLAN KOZINN [NY Times, 20 December 2006]
“Messiah” performances are resounding in the city’s concert halls and churches this month, but few, if any, of the choruses singing them can match the Oratorio Society of New York for venerability. The society gave its first “Messiah” on Christmas, 1874, during its second season, and it has performed the work every year since. Given the way Baroque performance practice has changed since then, it would have been fascinating if the choir had adhered to a consistent tradition, passed along from generation to generation, so that the “Messiah” it sang at Carnegie Hall on Monday evening resembled the 1874 performance.