10 Dec 2009
Andrea Chénier, Paris Opera (Bastille), Paris
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 Francis Carlin [Financial Times, 10 December 2009]
Giordano’s Andrea Chénier (1896), like Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur (1902), is a second-division opera that with the right, sophisticated treatment can sweep even cynics off their feet. The Paris Opera managed it handsomely for the Cilea in 1993 when Jean-Luc Boutté promoted the work to the operatic premier league by tempering the music’s verismo accents with fine acting and simple, elegant sets.