27 Oct 2008
Women dominate battle of sexes
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.
[Financial Times, 27 October 2008]
Make love, not war. The slogan had not been coined when Rossini wrote Matilde di Shabran for Rome in 1821, but it is surely what he meant when he subtitled his opera Bellezza, e cuor di ferro. What the brilliant young composer was saying between the lines of his melodramma giocoso was that the only war of significance is the battle of the sexes - and it’s one that every man is predestined to lose.