11 Sep 2009
Linda di Chamounix, Royal Opera House
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 Andrew Clark Financial Times, 10 September 2009]
Exactly why a handful of Donizetti operas have risen to the top of the pile, leaving so many others at the bottom, is hard to pinpoint. Conventional wisdom suggests that “Dozinetti” - “composer by the dozen”, as he was dubbed - wrote too many to exert quality control. Then you come across Linda di Chamounix, and the neglect seems unjust. I’ve seen it convincingly staged, but it represents an awkward mixed genre, melodramma semiserio, swinging towards the tragedy of Lucia di Lammermoor one moment and the comedy of Don Pasquale the next.