01 Mar 2011
Die Fledermaus, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff
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 Andrew Clark [Financial Times,1 March 2011]
The British have almost as big a problem with Viennese operetta as they do with French. It’s a question of style and tone. Sung in English, Die Fledermaus invariably turns into an old-fashioned comedy of class, with cut-glass accents for Eisenstein and his cronies and something “regional” for Frosch the gaoler. It never works, because even a century ago the English upper class had nothing like the insouciance of Johann Strauss’s haute bourgeoisie. The comedy ends up stiff and contrived.