13 Sep 2009
The Proms, Royal Albert Hall, London
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 Richard Fairman [Financial Times, 13 September 2009]
In spite of mounting qualms earlier in the year, it has been a good summer for classical music festivals. A couple of weeks ago the Salzburg Festival reported average attendance at 93 per cent, followed by Glyndebourne Festival Opera as high as ever at 96 per cent, and now the BBC Proms has come in at an average figure of 87 per cent for the concerts in the Royal Albert Hall - a hugely impressive figure given the size of the venue and the diversity of the programming. With extra events at nearby Cadogan Hall, the total number of people attending Proms concerts has been the highest ever.