02 Aug 2007
The evolution of the Proms
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.
Colin Matthews [TLS, 1 August 2007]
Any coverage of the Proms is usually accompanied by images of the flag-wavers of the Last Night. What a relief, then, to find that The Proms: A new history, edited by Jenny Doctor and David Wright, is not wrapped in a Last Night jacket, but features a cover photograph that could belong to any night. The bizarre rituals of the closing gala are given their space, but in the context of something much greater: the history of the world’s outstanding music festival.