28 Oct 2010
The Met’s Boris Godunov: René Pape sizzles, Mussorgsky’s scoring fizzles
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 David Abrams [cnycafemomus.com, 28 October 2010]
Listening to mostly male voices (and basses at that) delivering recitatives and monologues in Russian for four and a half hours can be enough to, well, foment a revolution. Perhaps that’s why master-orchestrator Rimsky-Korsakov twice revised Mussorgsky’s bland musical score to Boris Godunov, injecting color and fizz in an attempt to sustain musical interest throughout the lengthy epic drama.