03 Mar 2010
Emilie, Opéra de Lyon
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 Andrew Clark [Financial Times, 2 March 2010]
She was learned and sexually liberated, a product of the 18th century but a role model for our time - “a great man whose only fault was being a woman”, according to Voltaire, her sometime lover. History has tended to place Emilie du Châtelet (1706-49) in Voltaire’s shadow, but she stole the limelight at Monday’s premiere of a new opera by Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho.