25 Nov 2009
Swan Song of Offenbach, the Outsider
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 VIVIEN SCHWEITZER [NY Times, 25 November 2009]
“NO offense, but it’s a little like Frankenstein,” the director Bartlett Sher genially told the bass-baritone Alan Held during a recent rehearsal of Offenbach’s “Contes d’Hoffmann” (“Tales of Hoffmann”) at the Metropolitan Opera. Mr. Sher, referring to the menacing laugh that announces Dr. Miracle’s appearance in the second act, suggested that Mr. Held, who is singing the four villains, try a subtler approach.