31 Dec 2009
ENO, our gateway to opera
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 Patrick Carnegy [Times Literary Supplement, 30 December 2009]
London’s English National Opera has been in existence in one guise or another for nearly 130 years. Its story, by and large, is that of operatic life in England since the Victorian era. Jeremy Sams, witty translator for today’s ENO, once said that opera appealed to the British precisely because it was foreign and sexy. Don’t spoil the musical magic and the frocks by compelling us to pay attention to the words: let’s just join Dr Johnson and revel in the “exotic and irrational entertainment”.