15 Mar 2009
Opera Stars Revive a Neglected Work
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 VIVIEN SCHWEITZER [NY Times, 14 March 2009]
Kurt Weill’s operetta “The Firebrand of Florence” was doomed by an inadequate cast and a lackluster staging when it opened on Broadway in March 1945. It closed a month later and (except for a few songs) was neglected until a decade or so ago. A lively semistaged performance at Alice Tully Hall on Thursday revealed both the intricacies of Weill’s vibrant score and the libretto’s comedic elements, aptly framed by Roger Rees’s narration and direction.