01 Dec 2010
Opera North at the Grand Theatre, Leeds
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 Michael Kennedy [Opera, 1 December 2010]
The last time I encountered the work of the South African-born director Alessandro Talevi and the set and costume designer Madeleine Boyd was at last summer's Buxton Festival in Cornelius's The Barber of Baghdad, generally regarded as instantly forgettable-but not, let me make clear, as a production. Now teamed up with the lighting designer Matthew Haskins, the pair makes its Opera North debut in Britten's masterly adaptation of Henry James's creepy ghost story, surprisingly the first time this company has staged it.