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Musical World

Francisco Negrin

  • Director, Artistic/Stage


Born in 1963, Francisco Negrin studied Cinematography before moving into opera, initially as an assistant director.His experience has taken him to most of Europe and America’s major stages and festivals, as well as to Australia’s major opera companies.Francisco Negrin’s first production was his own version of Debussy’s The Fall of the House of Usher for the London International Opera Festival in 1989, a co-production with the National Opera in Lisbon.


Highlights of his earliest work include Haydn’s Orlando Paladino at Garsington and the première of Mozart-Griffith's The Jewel Box for Opera North, the latter was the first opera production ever performed at Glyndebourne by an outside company.Francisco Negrin’s early repertoire further included La Traviata at Opera North, Janacek´s The Diary of One Who Dissapeared at the Purcell Room, Cosí fan Tutte (Seattle), Don Carlo (Melbourne), a double bill of Ravel’s L'Heure Espagnole/ Gounod's La Colombe as well as Purcell’s King Arthur (London’s Guildhall), Martín y Soler's Una Cosa Rara (Drottningholm Festival) and Massenet’s Werther (Nice).A collaboration with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Edinburgh International Festival in 1993 resulted in an award-winning world-premiere production of James MacMillan’s Visitatio Sepulchri and the chamber pieceTourist Variations.


A collaboration with the Grand Théâtre de Genève starting in 1997 was to produce some of Negrin’s finest work to date – Othmar Schoek’s Venus, Mozart’s Mitridate, Bellini’s Norma and latterly Ginastera’s Beatrix Cenci, all earning him considerable audience and critical success.In the successive seasons, his European work included a site specific epic production of Phillip Glass’ Orphée for the Royal Danish Opera, Norma for the Liceu in Barcelona, Arabella for Opera North and a highly successful move into the romantic repertoire with Weber’s Der Freischutz as a co-production by the Theatre des Champs-Elysees in Paris and the Opera de Lausanne.


Francisco Negrin’s production of Handel’s Partenope in 1997 for Glimmerglass and New York City Operas made a huge impact on American audiences and critics.He was immediately re-invited to New York City Opera for Handel’s Rinaldo, his Australian Opera production of Giulio Cesare was revived by Los Angeles Opera and his Geneva Mitridate was featured as part of the 2001 Santa Fe Festival.A new production of Giulio Cesare for the Royal Danish Opera moved audiences to camping outside the theatre for tickets. That was followed by Beethoven’s Fidelio for De Vlaamse Opera as well as his debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, with Handel’s Partenope.


Francisco Negrin has been Artistic Director for contemporary dance and music group Walker Dance /Park Music with whom he created, among others, the dance piece / video installation on the roof of the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London titledTwo Stations.


Francisco Negrin’s more recent productions include a ground breaking Don Giovanni for Glimmerglass, his Royal Opera House Covent Garden début with Handel’s Orlando, his return to De Vlaamse Opera with Arabella, to the Santa Fe Festival with a hit production of Handel’s Agrippina and to Copenhagen with the world premiere of Poul Ruder’s Kafka’s Trial.A second production of Philip Glass’ Orphée was a chance for a very spectacular use of The Linbury theatre at the Royal Opera House.Francisco Negrin had his debut in Germany with J.C. Bach´s Temistoclein Leipzig which was then presented also in Toulouse, and conceived a new version of his earlier Mitridate, site-specifically for the Alhambra in Granada.


Before closing the 06-07 season in Barcelona with a further revival of Norma, which was transmitted live on a giant screen to over 3000 spectators on the beach, La Clemenza di Tito had opened the season at the Liceo and was then seen in Leipzig where Francisco also innovated with a daring production of The Merry Widow just before reviving his Orlando at Covent Garden and in the following season at the new opera house in Valencia where he also staged a very popular and innovative version of the Zarzuela La Corte de Faraón, with the Almodovar actress Rossy de Palma.


AfterPartenope in Copenhagen, Francisco directedI Puritani in Amsterdam and Athens and Alceste in Santa Fe. The 2009-2010 season will see a brand newUna Cosa Rara and Salome for Valencia, Il Arbore di Diana for Madrid and Barcelona and Macbeth in Strasbourg and Monte Carlo.Future seasons are to include I Puritani for Geneva and Athens, Rinaldo in Chicago, Werther in San Francisco and Chicago ,Vivaldi’s Griselda in Santa Feand the Cunning Little Vixen in Copenhagen.


Francisco Negrin has always shown a keen interest in teaching and has devised an innovative series of master classes for singers at the Opera Academy in Copenhagen, while also pursuing his interest in other media, preparing a feature film and editing several shorts and music videos.