18 Nov 2010
The Forthright Tenor
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 Mermelstein [WSJ, 18 November 2010]
All opera stars endure the burden of expectation, but Roberto Alagna has felt that weight keenly. Dubbed "the fourth tenor" early in his career by unthinking handlers, he has found it difficult to shake unfair comparisons to Plácido Domingo, José Carreras and the late Luciano Pavarotti, none of whom he is heir to. Moreover, he has sometimes chosen parts that are too heavy for his essentially lyric voice. Yet he airily dismisses such concerns as he readies for the daunting title role in the Metropolitan Opera's new production of Verdi's "Don Carlo," which opens Monday.