09 Aug 2007
What is it about Wagner?
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.
Stephen Pettitt [Times Online, 5 August 2007]
His operas sell out immediately. His theories changed classical music. His artistic legacy still divides his warring family. Millions either love him obsessively or hate him passionately
Richard Wagner – or, rather, the Wagner dynasty – is in the news again, with intrigue about who in the family will inherit the directorship of the 131-year-old Bayreuth festival, created by the composer in the theatre built specifically for the performance of his work. Wagner occupies music and opera lovers as no other composer does. Some unequivocally worship him, their trips to Bayreuth akin to pilgrimages. Others revile him.