14 Sep 2010
Royal Opera Japan tour diary: The second understudy steals the show
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 Nicholas Wroe [The Guardian, 14 September 2010]
And so to the opening nights, and one of the classic storylines in all opera - not the dying heroines of Manon and La Traviata, but the understudy who steals the show. La Traviata began with Elaine Padmore, director of opera, coming on stage to formally apologise for Angela Gheorgiu's absence, and to explain that Violetta would be sung by Ermonela Jaho. Then, at the start of the second act, Padmore appeared again: "I wasn't expecting to be making another speech today ..."