27 Oct 2008
In a Floating World, Enter Heartbreak and Puppets
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 STEVE SMITH [NY Times, 26 October 2008]
Two years ago Anthony Minghella’s new production of “Madama Butterfly” served as a calling card for the newly arrived general manager Peter Gelb’s vision of the Metropolitan Opera as a place not only for great singing but also for theatrical innovation. Minghella, a gifted English filmmaker who died in March, offered a gorgeous cinematic spectacle. Dancers and puppeteers made for a lively bustle, but Michael Levine’s spare, elegant sets focused attention on the principals by surrounding them with vast, empty space extended with a mirrored ceiling.