22 Jul 2011
Strauss Joins Sibelius’s Vacation
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 Peter G. Davis [NY Times, 22 July 2011]
HOW, you may ask, does an opera by Richard Strauss find its way into a music festival devoted largely to the world of Jean Sibelius? This great Finnish composer is the focal point of this year’s SummerScape extravaganza now under way at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y., and an important operatic novelty is invariably a highlight of the festival. But Sibelius never wrote an opera of any size or substance. To include one by Strauss — even a relative rarity like “Die Liebe der Danae,” which receives what is said to be its first fully staged performance in the New York region on Friday evening — seems a bit of a stretch.