18 Jan 2009
A Baroque Chameleon, Aria by Aria
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 Allan Kozinn [NY Times, 17 January 2009]
The mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux has a fondness for Baroque opera, and more important, a sense of the style and how it can be used. That isn’t just a matter of technique. Knowing how and where to ornament and what kind of sound works best for a Baroque piece is important, but lots of singers are schooled in those things now. Ms. Genaux’s strength is her combination of lively musicianship and the kind of personality that adapts easily and believably to the concerns of the character she is singing, even if she inhabits that character for the space of only a single aria.