Critic’s Choice

By Lawrence Budmen

Daniel Catan

Daniel Catán

Florida Grand Opera‘s annual productions of contemporary operas have proved  theatrically engrossing and varied in multicultural influences. On Saturday FGO opens a week-long run of Florencia en el Amazonas by the late Mexican composer Daniel Catán.  A tale of an opera diva’s journey up the river for a singing engagement while searching for her lost lover, the work takes its inspiration from the poetic “magical realism” of such writers as Gabriel Garcia Márquez.

Since its 1996 premiere at the Houston Grand Opera, Catán’s score has been widely produced at regional companies as well as stagings in Europe and Latin America. Ana Maria Martínez, who has sung leading roles at the Met and Lyric Opera of Chicago, plays the title role. (Miami soprano Sandra López sings Florencia at the Sunday matinee.) Soprano Cecilia Violetta López plays the reporter Rosalba who is writing a biography of Florencia. Steven LaBrie, Andrew Bidlack, Mariya Kaganskaya, William Lee Bryan and Rafael Porto sing other major roles. Ramón Tebar conducts and the production from Opera Colorado is directed by Jose Maria Condemi who staged FGO’s Tango double bill in 2014.

Florida Grand Opera presents Florencia en el Amazonas 7 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday and May 1, 4 and 5 at the Arsht Center in; 800-741-1010.

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Tue Apr 24, 2018
at 4:30 pm
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