05 Sep 2010
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, 5 September 2010]
Life is cruel. Capitalism is corrupt. Ambition is cancerous. But by turning your back on so-called civilisation and cultivating your back yard, you may find salvation. That seems to be the moral of Brett Dean’s new opera, a black comedy about modern life. Based on Peter Carey’s 1981 novel, Bliss tells of an advertising executive, Harry Joy, who has a heart attack that triggers (or symbolises?) a midlife crisis. He sees the hollowness of his success, is dismissed as mad by his peers and survives by dropping out.