12 Feb 2007
Steinbeck’s Suffering Okies Head West, Operatically
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 BERNARD HOLLAND [NY Times, 12 February 2007]
ST. PAUL. Feb. 11 — “The Grapes of Wrath” is an epic in a peculiarly American way. Famously in John Steinbeck’s novel of migrant workers in the Depression, and now in an opera by Ricky Ian Gordon and Michael Korie, its knights and ladies are poor people of little natural distinction, ennobled by the desperation of their lives. Their shining ambition is to survive, although a lot of them don’t.