11 Jul 2010
Luisa Miller, Buxton Opera House, Derbyshire
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 Andrew Clark [Financial Times, 11 July 2010]
When arias and duets are as sweetly melodic as Luisa Miller’s, you have to ask why the opera is not performed more frequently. One reason may be that Verdi wrote too many masterpieces to allow the also-rans a chance. Or perhaps Luisa Miller is too much of a transitional work: it lacks the elemental vigour of his “galley” years without achieving the dramatic sophistication of Rigoletto, La traviata and other masterpieces of his middle period.