31 Mar 2007
Lyric Opera unmasks new 'Ballo'
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.
All hail Riccardo, Governor of Boston!
Er, which governor was that?
Colonial Boston surely seems light years away from the world of 19th-century Italian opera, but that was precisely the point when Verdi and his librettist, Antonio Somma, chose to appease the nervous censors of Rome by transporting their opera of political intrigue and regicide -- "Un Ballo in Maschera" -- to some place far from European shores. The place they chose was late 17th-century Boston, turning King Gustavus III of Sweden into Governor Riccardo.