Adele Hugo

ADÉLE HUGO is an investigation into the mights and dangers of desire.

Adele Hugo Flyers A side

Interdisciplinary digital/analog opera for one vocalist/actress, electronics, multiple 16mm projectors and slide projectors. Based on the true story of Adele Hugo, daughter of Victor Hugo and her love obsession for the English officer Albert Pinson.


Vocalist/actress: Anat Spiegel

Concept/music/electronics/script: Cinzia Nistico 

Video/visuals: Esther Urlus 

Staging/director/dramaturgy: Ingrid Askvik

Adele Hugo has been made thanks to AFK, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, WORM, Amsterdam Fringe Festival, Plein Theater

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How do we relate to our goals? How do we size them, how do we know how far can we go and what do we do when we go too far? Don’t face reality, face the dream!

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Photos by Simone Giacomini

Believing that an old marriage proposal is still open, Adele Hugo, daughter of the famous poet and writer Victor Hugo, flees her parents home in Guernsey, to reach the British military officer Albert Pinson in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Despite his persistent rejections, Adele keeps stalking and chasing him, even when he’s relocated to the Barbados.

Behind the allure of a post-adolescent love, Adele Hugo poses an existential question about the limits of our will and desires and our relationship with reality.

Trailer by Gregor Gobec

Adele Hugo cannot leave Halifax empty handed, she cannot allow herself to fail. She has to constantly retune herself and at the same time rebuild her reality to confirm her goal and her imminent success. Just like her voice is deconstructed and recomposed in the electronics forcing the singer to adapt to in order to lead the music, this game of who’s leading who reflect the struggle of a person who thought to be infallible.

As spectators, we look at Adele Hugo with curiosity, mesmerised, fascinated and also moved by the drama of a marriage which became a chimera, a simple goal which became unreachable.

We are dragged into Adele’s world, loosing ourself in the fragmentation of her dream. Her ambition, her dream disintegrate itself to rebuilt itself again and again in an endless game of real and artificial. Adele Hugo departs from Guernsey with a simple plan which eventually became a trap and the more she tries to get it the more it is taken away from her.

Selected for the Amsterdam Fringe Festival in 2019, Adéle Hugo has been performed in Plein Theater, Toets Des Tijds, Theater De Generator Leiden.