02 Sep 2008
Stresa Festival, Stresa, Italy
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 George Loomis [Financial Times, 1 September 2008]
The most arresting sight on approaching the Italian village of Stresa by train, apart from the sheer beauty of Lake Maggiore and the mountains beyond, is that of the small islands whose separation from the mainland did not prevent development. It looks as if they could sink from the weight of their buildings, but those buildings have been there for centuries, a legacy of the Borromeo family of Milan, which gained control of Stresa centuries ago and is still around today.