Royal Danish Opera · Copenhagen · October 2008

This is the second production of Partenope directed by Francisco Negrin. Building on his experience of the piece but starting from scratch with a new design team, he aimed to take all the earlier ideas further and deepen the characters.  He was also able to build on his previous work with the cast and conductor as most of them were part of his second production of Giulio Cesare. The production is considered by Negrin as one of his very best, was nominated to the danish Reumert award for opera production of  the year and has been released on a briliantly filmed DVD by Decca.

Production Team
Set:  Louis Desiré
Costumes: Louis Desiré
Lighting:  Bruno Poet
Conductor  (Concerto Copenhagen): Lars Ulrich Mortensen

Inger Dam Jensen, Andreas Scholl, Tuva Semmingsen, Palle Knudsen, Christophe Dumaux, Bo Christian Jensen

There are no dead moments, and also not in Francisco Negrin staging, which avoids the museum trap, but neither is a showcase of idiosyncrasies. The scenography is classically simple, there are discreetly modern costumes. It is left to the performers' voices and bodies to do the rest. They seem to revel with confidence in a luxurious clutch of drama, humor and irony. Beautiful.


Søren Kassebeer
Berlingske Tidende
October 2008




"This really was a fantastic new production (director: Francisco Negrin) and I can honestly say there wasn’t a dull moment, which is quite an achievement in 3 hours plus of Handel.  It was elegant, witty and at times hilariously funny with meticulous attention paid to detail and acting.  The actor's direction was superb – all the characters were so well defined and the production allowed the individual personalities to really shine through...  The production is being recorded for DVD release (next year, I presume) and I would thoroughly recommend it.   The director has clearly given this production a lot of love and care (and rehearsal time) and all that attention to detail really paid off.  It should hopefully come across extremely well on DVD, especially as all the singers look so good and acted so well.   A fantastic evening, and well worth the trip to Copenhagen for. "

Faye Courtney
October 2008





"What a thoroughly enjoyable experience! This turns out to be one of Handel's most accessible scores with some of his most endearing arias as well as a few duets and concerted pieces. The fragile plot enfolds like a Shakespearean comedy with mistaken and supressed identities , cross dressing, twists of plot, pangs and pains of love and all turns out for the best in the end. The production itself is a miracle of modern direction; no Eurotrash here.... The famous war scene of Act 2 is cleverly done as a sort of musical chairs with appropriate clashes and bangs. There are six characters and all have a chance to show off their considerable skills both in acting and singing in this most convincing score. This is one Handel opera in which I did not find some "dry" spots. For this reason and by the totally dedicated efforts of conductor, musicians, singers and staff the whole exercise goes by most rapidly and happily. What fun!"

John W. Rippon
November 2009