27 Feb 2007
The Maid of Orleans, Carnegie Hall, New York
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 Martin Bernheimer [Financial Times, 27 February 2007]
Tchaikovsky’s Orleanskaya deva is better known hereabouts, if known at all, as The Maid of Orleans. First staged in St Petersburg in 1881, it represents a bizarre yet wondrous mishmash – part grand opera in the old Parisian tradition, part blood-and-guts melodrama predicated on Russian romance, part showpiece for a superhuman mezzo-soprano.