Guildhall · London · November 1992

The little known Gounod piece La Colombe was a perfect and unusual companion for L'Heure Espagnole in this double bill staged for the students in the opera course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. L'Heure Espagnole is still one of Francisco's favourite productions and was his first chance to work with visionary lighting designer Heather Carson.

Production Team
Set: Anthony Baker
Costumes: Anthony Baker
Lighting: Heather Carson
Conductor: David Lloyd-Jones

Helen Lothian, Margareta Hillerud, Simon Thorpe, Liza Pullman, Diane Charlesworth, Harriet Williams, Mark Warden, Elvia Sanchez, Jennifer Akhurst, Peter Bording, Jeffrey Stewart, Nathan Berg

"La Colombe was granted generous resources of lighting (by the excellent Heather Carson) and staging. Director Francisco Negrin dragged it sweetly kicking but not screaming into a 20th century never never land. It works thanks to the countless comedy-of-manners gestures which the young singers deftly inserted between the lines of Gounod's slick, if generic, little numbers."

David Nice
The Guardian
18 November 1992

"The Guildhall School had boldly decided to tackle La Colombe in French. This was a gamble that paid off, for even those who were not fluent in the language managed to sound as if they were... The pair of productions, both by Francisco Negrin with designs by Anthony Baker, had an arty look, without being distressingly trendy. The Ravel its comic mechanism neatly balanced by suppressed emotions below the surface, as here - always makes the time tick away rewardingly."

Richard Fairman
Financial Times
November 14 1992