08 Feb 2007
Orfeo, Banqueting 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 Andrew Clark [Financial Times, 8 February 2007]
Exactly 400 years ago, give or take a couple of weeks, Monteverdi’s Orfeo received its first performance in Mantua. A few years later the new Banqueting House at the Palace of Whitehall hosted the first Stuart masques. It was impossible to miss the historical resonance of those two events on Wednesday, when the English Bach Festival performed Orfeo in the Banqueting House, still resplendent in sight and sound after four centuries.