Teatro Comunale · Bologna · November 2004
Flemish Opera · Antwerp · October 2002

First presented as Fidelio at the Flemish Opera, this production, entirely concentrated on the idea of the protagonist as a bringer of light and altruism to a world of darkness where only self interest reigns and isolates, was then adapted to suit the slightly different ending of the original Leonore. Those performances for the Comunale in Bologna were Francisco's italian debut. In both cases, rather than try and ignore the strange oratorio-like ending , the concept hinged on that specificity and the whole space was an allegory of man's enprisonment in his own mind, released only by enlightenment. This helped the tenderer aspects of Beethoven's score and the production seemed more moving than the more political ones tend to.

Production Team
Set: Anthony Baker
Costumes: Anthony Baker and Mark Bouman (Bologna)
Lighting: Bruno Poet
Conductor: Ivan Toerz (Flanders)
Daniele Gatti (Bologna)

(Flanders): Petra-Maria Schnitzer, Klaus Florian Vogt, Stephen Milling, Oskar Hillebrandt, Petra Labitzke, Matthias Klink, Kurt Gysen

(Bologna): Detlef Roth, Juergen Linn, Johnny Van Hall, Hillevi Martinpelto, Natalie Kerl, Matthias Klink

"Suddenly, he's there. The door flies open; a blinding flash of light, and everyone stands as if rooted to the spot. No dialogue. Fidelio directly begins the quartet: 'Mir ist so wunderbar...' and the audience is transported. That's how easy it can be. Director Francisco Negrin has no "Big Concept" for this Fidelio at the Flemish Opera, but everything is just so right! Over and over again the performance captures the attention, time stands still and pure theatrical magic ensues... Törz, Negrin, the singers and the players offer ample nourishment for the head and for the heart."

Bernd Feuchtner
December 2002

"I was irresistibly moved, as I haven't been by many another Fidelio."

David Murray
Financial Times
November 2004

"Set in a modern prison, Francisco Negrin's staging is sobre and incisive, with moments of undeniable poetic power."

Paolo di Felice
Opéra International
January 2005