21 Jan 2010
Monteverdi, 1610: Vespers to Usher in the Baroque
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 James R. Oestreich [NY Times, 21 January 2010]
As Monteverdi’s magnificent 1610 Vespers gathers momentum in its inexorable march through a big anniversary year, it quickly becomes evident that comparisons, however odious, are inevitable. This vast canvas from the dawn of the Baroque — formally, the “Vespro Della Beata Vergine” (“Vespers of the Blessed Virgin”) — offers such a rich ground for competing scholarly views and conjecture that performances differ radically, one shedding light on another.