22 Jun 2010
Best When It's Tangy, Not Sweet
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 Heidi Waleson [WSJ, 22 June 2010]
The beauty of Roald Dahl's darkly comic children's books is how they balance attraction and menace. "The Golden Ticket"—an opera by composer Peter Ash and librettist Donald Sturrock, based on Dahl's novel "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," having its world premiere at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis—is most successful when its score does the same. The opera's best music is edgy and snappy, its astringent orchestration giving prominence to the winds and the brass, capturing the story's restless unpredictability. But when it ventures into pure lyricism, it often meanders and sags.