08 Oct 2010
Bieito's Muted 'Carmen' Brings a Fresh Vision
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 J. S. Marcus [WSJ, 8 October 2010]
BARCELONA—If you love classical music, then you love Georges Bizet's "Carmen." A flop when it premiered in Paris in 1875, the opera quickly installed itself as one of the most popular in the repertory. With its unabashed depiction of Seville low-life, and top-heavy with irresistible hits like the "Toreador Song," the opera was seen as a perfect fusion of the realistic and the hummable. After more than a century as an opera-house workhorse, the music may be as lovable as ever, but actual productions aren't always very likable. Enter Spanish director Calixto Bieito.