12 Jun 2010
The Wild West and the superstar Italian composer
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 Richard Scheinin [Mercury News, 12 June 2010]
When Giacomo Puccini's "The Girl of the Golden West," an opera based on a play by the son of a Gold Rush miner, premiered at the Metropolitan Opera a century ago, the glitterati were there in their finery — the Vanderbilts, the Pierpont Morgans, the Guggenheims, says Laura Basini, a Sacramento State University music historian. It was the very first Italian opera written for an American premiere. There were 55 curtain calls! And they presented Puccini on opening night with a solid silver laurel wreath crafted by Tiffany.