03 Apr 2007
Straddling Puccini’s China, From Smaller Roles to Large Spectacle
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 ANNE MIDGETTE [NY Times, 3 April 2007]
First-time operagoers and long-term fans are drawn to different aspects of opera. First-timers may be pulled in by the excitement of the event: the big music, the spectacle. And in these respects, the Metropolitan Opera’s “Turandot,” which returned on Friday night, certainly passes muster. Franco Zeffirelli’s production delivers a lot of bang (scenery, costumes, number of bodies on stage) for the buck, and in the hands of the ever-impressive conductor Fabio Luisi, the orchestra and the chorus sounded great. And Puccini’s music is pretty hot.