Debussy
São Carlos · Lisbon · September 1989
QEH · London · December 1986
Spitalfields · London · June 1989



This was a project developed with conductor Peter Ash. The two created a performable version of Debussy's unfinished piece and staged it in the very athmospheric Christchurch in Spitalfields, London. It was a double bill with Berlioz' Cleopatre.

It was very well received, and the London International Opera Festival asked for a fully staged version for the Queen Elisabeth Hall. That was the start of Francisco's early collaboration with designer Nigel Lowery. The show was then bought by the Lisbon festival. The photos below are of both versions.



Production Team (QEH)
Sets: Nigel Lowery
Costumes: Nigel Lowery
Lighting: Brod Mason
Conductor: Peter Ash

Casts included

Claire Powell, James Meek, Ingrid Atrott, Helen Charnock, Robert Dean, Henry Herford, Rudolph Piernay, Stephen Varcoe, Richard Jackson


"Outstanding among the events embraced by the London International Opera Festival was a production, at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, of Debussy's unfinished opera, The Fall of the House of Usher (1908-17), in a performing version by Francisco Negrin....the version has a strongly authentic feel - it is like the loving restoration of a painting.... Nigel Lowery's superb tilted staircase of a set, and Negrin's direction of the singers' movements upon it, hauntingly evoked the tragic claustrophobia of Pelléas, as well as discovering an emotional note, dark and severe, of their own. The pool of water at the front of the set was used with theatrical precision, never a gimmick... Three performances of this brilliant production made an insufficient run. It ought to be revived as soon as possible".


Paul Driver
The Sunday Times
18 June 1989