19 Dec 2008
Carl Orff, the composer who lived a monstrous lie
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.
Richard Morrison [Times Online, 19 December 2008]
The opening line of Carmina Burana - “O Fortuna!” - could hardly be more apt. Few composers felt themselves more at the mercy of capricious gods and twists of fate than its composer, Carl Orff. He was never a diehard Nazi; indeed, he looked with disdain on their oafish cultural values. Far from espousing the hounding of “inferior races”, he was fascinated by jazz and by what today we would call world music. Yet he rose to become one of the Third Reich’s top musicians.