14 Aug 2010
Unthinkable? Mid-opera clapping
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.
Editorial [The Guardian, 14 August 2010]
Last month, during the Proms performance of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, a few people began to applaud - which probably appalled others in the audience and would certainly have upset Richard Wagner. The opera is meant to be a comedy, and its second act ends with a riotous crowd, yet convention demands that it is heard in austere silence until the end of each act. In Italian opera you can cheer an aria - although even then a few po-faced devotees will sit ostentatiously on their hands.