10 Jan 2014
Rameau: Les Surprises de l'Amour
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 Tim Ashley [The Guardian, 8 January 2014]
The definitive version of Rameau's Les Surprises de l'Amour was first performed in Paris in 1758, though the work began life as a small-scale entertainment of the same name written a decade earlier for Madame de Pompadour's private theatre in Versailles. A big opera-ballet that gives song and dance equal dramatic weight, it never really allows us to forget its initial associations with the most famous of royal mistresses. Exhorting us, almost at the outset, to "hear the voice of pleasure," it's a restrained yet hedonistic celebration of carnality that juxtaposes a succession of contrasting erotic narratives from classical literature.