27 Aug 2010
La fanciulla del West/L’Heure espagnole, Usher Hall, Edinburgh
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, 27 August 2010]
By choosing Oceans Apart for his 2010 theme, Edinburgh International Festival director Jonathan Mills opened up fertile avenues for exploration in spoken theatre and classical music, while leaving little room for manoeuvre in opera. The obvious choice was Puccini’s wild west thriller La fanciulla del West (The Girl of the Golden West). Premiered in New York 100 years ago and never previously heard in Scotland, it conjures a picture of the New World that, though seen through the eyes of a composer who had never experienced it, effectively captures the values of a frontier community.