26 Jan 2007
Life in tune
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.
Jerry Fodor [Times Literary Supplement, 17 January 2007]
224pp. Yale. £19.99.
0 300 08976 7
There are, in principle, two quite different kinds of opera books: the ones that are about opera and the ones that are about operas. There aren’t (to my knowledge) many of the second kind that are very good; and there are practically none of the first kind. It would be lovely if someone were to write a good book about opera, since the medium is a conundrum both for its devotees and for aestheticians. The litany of complaints is familiar: most libretti cannot be taken seriously; but for the music, they couldn’t hope to hold the stage.