19 Jun 2008
A Slimmed-Down Diva Keeps Her Vocal Heft
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 VIVIEN SCHWEITZER [NY Times, 18 June 2008]
LONDON — The drama following the 2004 dismissal of the soprano Deborah Voigt from a production of Strauss’s “Ariadne auf Naxos” at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden here had many elements of the work itself: an opera within an opera that blends comic and tragic aspects and caricatures the lofty ideals of high art. Ms. Voigt’s dismissal, because she was too large to wear the cocktail dress stipulated by the director or adhere to his staging concepts, prompted an avalanche of international interest that ranged from buffa laughs about fat ladies singing to ponderous editorials about the meaning of “sacred art” versus Hollywood ideals of beauty.