01 Mar 2007
Orlando, Royal Opera 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, 28 February 2007]
Comparing our own taste to that of Handel’s London, a programme essay for this Royal Opera revival says “it is hard to pretend that, for modern purposes, Orlando is some kind of Shakespearean masterpiece” – the implication being that it is little more than a string of virtuoso arias. But the point about Orlando, surely, is that Handel intended neither, and the productions that trust him – of which this is not one – vindicate his creative intuition.