11 Apr 2010
Franz Schreker's 'The Stigmatized' at Los Angeles 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 Mark Swed [LA Times, 11 April 2010]
It’s taken close to a century, but the ugliest man of Genoa has at last crossed the Atlantic. He is Alviano Salvago, who is also described as “an ugly hunchback, about thirty years old, with large shinning eyes.” He is stigmatized, branded, marked, drawn. He is weak and revolting in a society obsessed with physical pleasure. He also happens to own an island where there are all manner of nasty goings on from which he gets some sort of creepy vicarious thrill in the name of the classical pursuit of beauty.