The Auditorio de Tenerife produces the Spanish première of the opera Florencia in the Amazon
The performances of this opera in Spanish by the Mexican composer Daniel Catán take place on the 22, 24 and 26 of March
The Auditorio de Tenerife produces the Spanish première of the opera Florencia in the Amazon, by the Mexican composer Daniel Catán (1949-2011). The performances take place on the 22nd, 24th and 26th of March at the Symphony Hall at 7:30 p.m. The details of this opera were given by Enrique Arriaga, the Island’s Minister of Culture of Tenerife Island Council, Pedro Halffter, the musical director, and Chía Patiño, the stage director.
Enrique Arriaga explained that with 'Florencia in the Amazon', Opera de Tenerife introduces Latin American compositions. “After an extensive tour around the opera houses of America and with just two premières in Europe (Germany and Switzerland), this title is now premièring Spain, created by the Mexican writer Marcela Fuentes-Berain, who will come in person to the première in Tenerife, and it is nourished by the magical realism of her friend Gabriel García Márquez; inspiration that will be sprinkled over the entire stage" stated Arriaga. The vice-president of the Island Council also made it clear that "The Auditorium of Tenerife will continue to commit to a quality culture”.
Pedro Halffter, who will lead the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra, thanked the Island Council and Opera de Tenerife for once again having him conduct. “I feel a little from the Canary Islands due to my links to this region, which I frequently visit for Opera de Tenerife and the FIMC (the Canary Islands International Music Festival)” he explained. The maestro shared that he himself was responsible for the musical direction of the Swiss version of Florencia in the Amazon. “It is an extraordinary opera of lush beauty and with an epic musical score that brings to mind the magical sounds of the rainforest”.
Sandra López, an American soprano with a Cuban father and Ecuadorian mother who will play Florencia, acknowledged that she feels "thankful and honoured to be here with this great role, which has a great human and poetic bareness”. The singer highlighted "how fragile Florencia is, she is going through a period of crisis in her life and needs to find herself again”. “The audience will feel they identify with some of the characters who are going through different stages of life" concluded the soloist.
The Tenerife tenor Airam Hernández stressed "the sense of being twins that Canarians have always felt with Latin America, and that is something that will be experienced intensely in this opera”. With regard to his character, Arcadio, nephew of the captain, he explained that "he is a young man from a small town with the mentality of someone who has been conquered, and the people of Tenerife will perfectly understand that feeling, as well as the many nods that are given in the opera”.
As for the cast, the soprano Sandra López and the tenor Airam Hernández are joined by the Brazilian soprano Lina Mendes, who plays Rosalba, the journalist who writes about Grimaldi. The Spanish baritones José Julián Frontal and Àngel Òdena will play Álvaro, the partner of Paula, and Riolobo, a mysterious being from the rainforest, respectively; the American mezzo-soprano Adriana Zabala will play Paula, and the Mexican bass Alejandro López will be the boat captain.
Patiño completes her team with the North American stage designer Izmir Ickbal, the Brazilian costume designer Felype de Lima, the American lighting designer Erin Fleming and the Spanish designer and puppet master Alejandra Prieto.
The proposal of Patiño is based on the concept of a de-constructed boat, wild nature, a little fantasy and, as a new addition, puppets of butterflies and birds are included on the stage, among other elements, which will assist the dreamlike narration, and they will be the responsibility of the puppeteers, a team of local operators directed by Alejandra Prieto. For part of the props, there was a collaboration from the Fernando Estévez Higher School of Art and Design. The stage design was produced at the Workshop of Stage Training of the Auditorium of Tenerife.
The Choir of the Opera of Tenerife, directed by Carmen Cruz, will be present in the show, always integrated into the plot, which begins at the port of Leticia, in Colombia, and whose destination is Manaus, in Brazil.
This opera by Catán, a lover of bel canto melody, who contributed his passion and originality to the genre, had its world première in 1996 as a commission of the Houston Grand Opera. This opera in Spanish speaks of Florencia Grimaldi, a diva who returns to her town, where her love blossomed for a butterfly hunter, Cristóbal Ribeiro da Silva. She left it all behind for her career and now she is returning in search of the long-awaited reunion.
The story begins at the start of the 20th century in the port of Leticia, Colombia, from where this long journey departs along the Amazon River to Manaus, in Brazil. This destination itself is home to one of the most exaggerated fantasy -and real- stories of Latin America, linked to the opera: the construction of a theatre in the middle of the rainforest.
Everyone travelling on this boat, El Dorado, shares the same hope: to hear the diva Florencia Grimaldi on her return to her homeland. The boat sets sail, and with it, this crossing of love and desire where each character is going to discover their inner journey and the true magic of the Amazon River will reveal all its secrets.
Tickets can be purchased until fifteen minutes before each performance on the website www.auditoriodetenerife.com, at the auditorium's box office or by dialling the phone number 902 317 327 from Monday to Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. By purchasing tickets, you accept the measures implemented by the cultural centre to combat COVID-19, such as the correct use of masks.