28 Jul 2009
Kát’a Kabanová at Holland Park
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.
Geoff Brown [Times Online, 28 July 2009]
Anne Sophie Duprels’s opera heroine must be one of the few to think of committing suicide by throwing herself into the orchestra’s timpanist. It should be the River Volga, but Opera Holland Park’s production of Janácek’s searing marvel Kát’a Kabanová — their last attraction in this summer’s season — never comes near water. At the same outdoor venue in 2007, the director Olivia Fuchs, the designer Yannis Thavoris and their team scored a palpable hit with Jenufa, but here, despite firm performances, the Czech composer’s power gets neutered by a staging that swings madly between the over-emphatic and the thrown-away.