New Production of 'Florencia en el Amazonas' at the MET

New Production of 'Florencia en el Amazonas' at the MET
Ailyn Pérez
© Paola Kudacki, The MET Opera

Florencia is an homage to the ultimate magical realism: love. This Latin American, Mexican opera – the first to be staged at the Met – is inspired by the work of my mentor Gabriel García Márquez, who was capable of portraying humanity overcoming challenges like we have recently experienced in the pandemic times and also amidst the impact of climate change in the Amazon where the opera's dramatic action happens. — Marcela Fuentes-Berain

The Metropolitan Opera premieres a new production of Daniel Catán and Marcela Fuentes-Berain’s Florencia en el Amazonas (“Florencia in the Amazon”) opening November 16 and running through December 14, 2023. The production stars Mexican-American soprano Ailyn Pérez as Florencia Grimaldi, with Yannick Nézet-Séguin on the podium to lead a spellbinding new production by Mary Zimmerman that brings the mysterious and seductive realm of the Amazon to the Met stage. The cast also features Gabriella Reyes, Nancy Fabiola Herrera, Mario Chang, Michael Chioldi, Greer Grimsley and Mattia Olivieri. Set designs are Riccardo Hernández, costumes by Ana Kuzmanic and projections by S. Katy Tucker. This production will be broadcast Live in HD on December 9.

Sung in Spanish, this original tale is inspired by the magical realism of Columbian novelist Gabriel García Márquez, and tells the enchanting story of a Brazilian opera diva who returns to her homeland to perform at the legendary opera house of Manaus – and to search for her lost lover, who has vanished into the jungle. Catán’s gorgeous vocal writing and lush, Debussian orchestrations evocatively portray the many loves – emerging, rekindling, and remembered – of Florencia’s cast.

As Florencia sings her final aria, her voice, her song and she herself, become intertwined with the image of a butterfly. She breaks through her cocoon and enters her finest moment; her voice soars, her song acquires transparent wings. Love and beauty metamorphose into one another and become indistinguishable from each other. — Daniel Catán


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