07 Apr 2010
A traumatic Dionysian feast
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 Shirley Apthorp [Financial Times, 7 April 2010]
There are good reasons for Daphne ‘s comparative obscurity. Of all Richard Strauss’s operas, it is arguably the hardest to stage. How do you show a woman turning into a tree? Add the dubious time and place (Dresden, 1938) of the world premiere, Joseph Gregor’s weak libretto, and the antiquated subject material, and you have plenty of reasons for avoiding Daphne .