The magical realism arrives at Tenerife with the première in Spain of Florencia in the Amazon
The shows of this Spanish opera start tomorrow (Tuesday 22), with further shows on Thursday (24th) and Saturday (26th)
The magical realism arrives at Tenerife with the première in Spain of “Florencia in the Amazon”. The opera, by the Mexican composer Daniel Catán (1949-2011) is produced by Auditorio de Tenerife with the help of a local and Latinamerican professional team. This title is promoted by Opera de Tenerife. The shows take place on the 22nd, 24th and 26th of March at 7:30 p.m. at the Symphony Hall of the venue.
“Love in the Time of Cholera” and “One Hundred Years of Solitude” are some of the works by Gabriel García Márquez that have inspired this story by Marcela Fuentes-Berain. This musical homage to Gabo and his imaginary arrives at Tenerife with the Ecuadorian director Chía Patiño. She opts for real visual effects and moves away from the usual audio-visual resources, "which have been overused during these two years of pandemic".
During this boat trip at the beginning of the 20th century to Manaus, Brazil, all want to hear the diva Florencia Grimaldi on her return to her homeland that was constructed in the middle of the jungle. Patiño explains that "we will follow this singer who longs for the past, without being very clear whether she exists or not... Is it a dream? "We have a whole ship coming to see her and I want to create doubt on the viewer as to whether the singer is real or not" explains the director, for whom it is very important to "feel the Amazon jungle, the way it affects people and vice versa".
Patiño leads this stage show and 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 Tenerife Symphony Orchestra contributes with the music of this production under the baton of the maestro Pedro Halffter, who once again directs for Opera de Tenerife. "The music of this opera is marvellous! It brings together many elements of Puccini and Debussy. It is very demanding for the orchestra, singers and chorus," says the musical director.
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 Auditorio de Tenerife.
After an extensive tour around opera houses in America and two appearances in Europe (Germany and Switzerland), this opera by Catán, a lover of bel canto melody who contributed his passion and originality to the genre, is staged in Spain for the first time. The world première took place in 1996 as a commission of the Houston Grand Opera. The Mexican writer Marcela Fuentes-Berain has come in person to the première in Tenerife She wrote the libretto, and it is nourished by the magical realism of her friend Gabriel García Márquez.
Regarding the cast, the American soprano Sandra López will play Florencia Grimaldi; the Brazilian soprano Lina Mendes will play Rosalba, Rosalba, the journalist who writes about Grimaldi. The Canary Islands-born tenor Airam Hernández will play Arcadio, the nephew of the captain who falls in love with Rosalba.
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.
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 in Spanish tells the story 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 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 fantasies-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.