26 Aug 2010
The Sixteen/Christophers, 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 Rowena Smith [The Guardian, 26 August 2010]
The festival's New World theme has already offered up one baroque representation of the Aztec emperor Montezuma in Graun's opera seria - here it presented another in the form of Purcell's music for The Indian Queen. Dramatically, the play from which the music was taken seems to have been an unwieldy work. The outline synopsis runs to seven pages in the concert programme and contains more twists, turns, and complicated relationships than an entire basket of Handel operas - not in themselves known for either their concision or their plot rationality.