11 Jul 2011
Maria di Rohan/Saul, Buxton Festival, Derbyshire, UK
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, 11 July 2011]
Of all the UK’s summer opera venues, Buxton must be the most relaxing and the least pretentious. The town, once a holiday spa for well-to-do Lancashire families, exudes faded elegance and upmarket potential, but its countrified Peak District setting encourages a longer stay. Having had a chequered career over the past 30 years, the festival is on an upward curve. Its greatest asset remains the Opera House, a 900-seat Matcham jewel, and this year it has expanded to three in-house productions, running on consecutive nights - a good package.