23 Dec 2008
Intermezzo, Theater an der Wien, Vienna
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 Shirley Apthorp [Financial Times, 21 December 2008]
Would Richard Strauss’s Intermezzo have enjoyed more success with a better subject? Certainly the banality of this 1924 opera has been a factor in its subsequent neglect. Strauss wrote the libretto himself, basing it on a domestic drama from his home life. The story is fluffy, the piece titanically self-referential. Yet for all its dramaturgical flaws, Intermezzo overflows with glorious music.