17 Mar 2008
Eugene Onegin, ROH
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.
Martin Kettle [The Guardian, 12 March 2008]
Mess with Eugene Onegin at your peril. Several characters in Pushkin's verse novel and Tchaikovsky's opera learn this the hard way. But the warning applies to directors, too. The relationship between Tchaikovsky's assured "lyric scenes" and Pushkin's dazzling irony is a delicate one. Unfortunately, the late Steven Pimlott's production, here revived by Elaine Kidd for the first time since the director's tragic death last year, blunders gratuitously into the elaborate dialectic between author and composer. The result is a theatrical jumble.