02 Dec 2008
Tannhäuser, Deutsche Oper Berlin
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, 2 December 2008]
Larger-than-life gargoyles leer at the audience from the gauze, bat-winged demons descend from the heavens and painted flames lick the naked limbs of lusting sinners. Kirsten Harms’s new Tannhäuser for Deutsche Oper borrows liberally from images of medieval Christianity (design: Bernd Damovsky). Her knights wear shining armour, Elisabeth sports virginal white, the Wartburg’s inhabitants are like cartoon illustrations of a whimsical fairytale court.