Welcome to Hell

Spreafico Eckly & Matteo Fargion: Bad Dante Bad English Bad Opera (Purgatorio I-IX) (2021)

Andrea Spreafico and Matteo Fargion have created a new translation of Dante’s epic Renaissance poem The Divine Comedy into down-to-earth English. Using a stripped-down chamber opera presentation, Bad Dante Bad English Bad Opera presents the first nine cantos of Purgatory from Dante's literary attempt to imagine the many layers of Hell.

In a vivid and humorous way, the piece explores human qualities such as confusion, tolerance, a sense of justice and imperfection. Four lost souls in transit between hell and paradise – both trained and untrained voices – and a string trio invite you to hear and experience Dante's work in a whole new way.

The original Divine Comedy – completed in 1320 – described the experience of human souls in limbo and a nostalgia for their previous life. In its time this was a critique of dysfunctional states and societies out of control. All of which is equally relevant in 2022.

Theatre company Spreafico Eckly was established in 2013 in Bergen. It often uses elements from the past to view the present in a new light. Their performances are intended as pauses in the constant flow of information humans receive, and as a reflection on the present. Matteo Fargion is a composer, performer and teacher. He has created four performances together with Spreafico Eckly since 2017.


Matteo Fargion

Text, director

Andrea Spreafico


Francesca Fargion, Matteo Fargion, Robert M. Johanson, Martha MacBean


Björn Guo, Stefan Penjin, Live Sunniva Smidt

Lighting design

Randiane Sandboe

Sound designer

Tor Erik Eriksson

Costumes and set design

Miranda Mac Letten

Choreography (Canto V)

Timothy Bartlett, Miranda Mac Letten

Choreography (Canto VI)

Mirte Bogaert, Karen Eide Bøen

Produced by

Spreafico Eckly, Art & About


Rosendal Teater (Trondheim), BIT Teatergarasjen (Bergen), Bergen

In collaboration with

Nationaltheatret and Black Box teater