17 May 2010
Keeper Of the Shrine
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 Norman Lebrecht [WSJ, 17 May 2010]
The death of Wolfgang Wagner in March, mourned across Germany, severed a national artery. He was the last of Richard Wagner’s grandchildren and the longest ruler of the Bayreuth Festival, the annual rite during which Wagner’s operas are ceremonially performed in a theater designed by the composer for that purpose in an ornate Bavarian town. Wolfgang took over the festival in 1966, on the death of his more gifted brother, Wieland. Never much of an artist himself, Wolfgang carried on the family business in his grandfather’s name when, in fact, its existence and much of its character stem from the dark, controlling mind of the composer’s widow, the formidable Cosima Wagner.