27 Apr 2009
In Brooding Lieder, Gentleness and Drama
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, 26 April 2009]
By its nature the bass voice is better suited for melancholy music than for cheerful, celebratory works. You can find exceptions — the bass part in the Beethoven Ninth Symphony and Leporello’s Catalogue Aria from “Don Giovanni,” for example — but a sepulchral growl, room-shaking power and a dark, soulful coloration are the truest hallmarks of a great bass, and composers are drawn to those qualities for the naturalness with which they evoke desolation, melancholia and terror.