12 Jan 2011
Taking Gilbert & Sullivan Seriously
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 Heidi Waleson [WSJ, 12 January 2011]
The trick to presenting a very familiar work like Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Mikado" (1885) is to make the audience see and hear it as if for the first time. Lyric Opera of Chicago accomplishes that with its new production. The stage director, Gary Griffin, the associate artistic director of Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and the conductor, Andrew Davis, the music director of Lyric Opera, take this comic masterpiece seriously, casting it with real voices and banning all mugging.