18 Jan 2008
Lully Returns to the Opéra Comique
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.
On an evening of April 1673, in Rue de Vaugirard in Paris, curious spectators discovered the very first French lyrical tragedy in a jeu de paume (an early tennis court) converted into a modest theatre. The libretto of Cadmus and Hermione had been written by a reputed academician, and the score by the brilliant Music Superintendent of the King. Their song-and-dance work has the distinction of court performances and was set to a drama of unprecedented coherence.