01 Nov 2010
From day one, The Marriage Of Figaro was a match made in heaven
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 Conrad Wilson [The Herald, 1 November 2010]
But what was it actually like, that very first performance of The Marriage Of Figaro at Vienna’s Burgtheater in May 1786? Not quite like Scottish Opera’s in Glasgow last night, to be sure. At a time when modern conductors, especially the late lamented Sir Charles Mackerras, have been trying to bring us closer and closer to the composer’s intentions while many modern stage directors have been transporting us further away from them, we cannot help wondering what the original audience really experienced and how much, despite Mackerras’s meticulous attention to detail, it must have differed from a performance today.