03 Aug 2009
Conjuring Mozart Themes and Sighs
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 James R. Oestreich [New York Times, 3 August 2009]
The problem in starting a concert with a familiar opera overture is that if the overture is performed persuasively, what you may want to hear next is the rest of the opera, not other, unrelated music. So after Edward Gardner and the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra’s taut account of Mozart’s “Zauberflöte” Overture at Avery Fisher Hall on Friday evening, you half-wanted Tamino to trip onto the stage with a monstrous snake in pursuit.