Saturday, November 14, 2020

Florencia en el Amazonas, Bloomington

Conductor: David Neely 
Stage Director: Candace Evans 

Singers: Lauren McQuistin, Hayley Lipke, Courtney Bray, Michael Day, Robert Gerold, Christopher Seefeldt, Rivers Hawkins

This version of Florencia en el Amazonas (Catán) comes from Indiana University, Bloomington, 2016, by way of Opera on Video.  We are on a wonderful paddle wheel boat going up the Amazon.  Our heroine, Florencia Garibaldi, now a famous opera singer, has returned to the Amazon after 20 years in search of her long lost lover.  She will sing at the opera house when they arrive.  

The boat is surrounded by mysterious dances in the water.  There are 5 other people on the boat:  the captain, his crewman, a quarreling couple, and a woman who wishes to write a biography of the singer.  None of them recognize her.

The water gets rough and one of the men falls off.  I think it's the husband in the quarreling couple.  A man sings who is with the water creatures.  "We're adrift."  End of Act I.

I like the Florencia singer very much.  There are no hit tunes in this opera.  After the storm there is much singing about love.  The husband is rescued.  No one has died.  When they arrive, there is cholera, and they can't disembark.  Florencia is supposed to turn into a butterfly after her wonderful extended solo, but there is only a suggestion.

I find the production satisfying.  They've done an excellent job with this.  If you want to see this opera, I recommend this version.  This is my first viewing of a production from the IU opera theater.  I should try again some time.

No comments: