Photos: First Look at FLORENCIA EN EL AMAZONAS at Opera San Jose

Performances run through May 5, 2024.

By: Apr. 20, 2024
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Opera San José concludes its 40th anniversary season with the Bay Area premiere of Daniel Catán’s captivating opera, Florencia en el Amazonas, marking its debut at the California Theatre as the company’s first Spanish language opera performed on its mainstage. 

Check out production photos below!

In this two-act work, Mexican composer Catán transports audiences to a 20th-century riverboat sailing the Amazon River. There, a famous opera singer is returning home to perform, while hoping to reunite with her lover, a butterfly hunter who has disappeared into the jungle. A story rich in allusion that bridges drama and fantasy, Florencia en el Amazonas will be performed in Spanish with English and Spanish supertitles. Celebrated Latina international director Crystal Manich returns to OSJ where she helmed the company’s award-winning production of West Side Story. Opera San José Director of Music Joseph Marcheso will conduct. Florencia en el Amazonas will be presented April 20 - May 5, 2024 (performance dates/times below) at the California Theatre, 345 South First Street, San José.  For more information or to purchase tickets ($55–$195), the public can visit the button below or call 408-437-4450 (open Monday through Friday, 9:00am–5:00pm).   

Florencia en el Amazonas, the third opera by acclaimed Mexican composer Daniel Catán, with a libretto by Marcela Fuentes-Berain, includes motifs taken from and characters inspired by the novel Love in the Time of Cholera by Colombian Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel García Márquez. It was co-commissioned by Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Opera, and Seattle Opera – making it the first Spanish language opera to be commissioned by major U.S. opera houses. Florencia en el Amazonas made its world premiere in Houston in 1996, followed by premieres in 1997 and 1998 in Los Angeles and Seattle, and its Latin American premiere in 1999 in Mexico City. It has since gone on to presentations throughout the world, making its New York Metropolitan Opera debut in November 2023, the Met’s first work by a Latin American composer and its third-ever work presented in Spanish. The New York Times hailed Florencia en el Amazonas as “impressive,” noting “Catán’s score endlessly undulates and glitters,” while New York Classical Review praised Catán’s work as “lush, lyrical, and colorful.” Florencia en el Amazonas is presented under license by Associated Music Publishers, Inc. copyright owners. 

The cast includes soprano Elizabeth Caballero as opera singer Florencia Grimaldi and soprano Aléxa Anderson as the journalist Rosalba documenting Florencia’s journey. Joining them are mezzo-soprano Guadalupe Paz as Paula and former Resident Artist  baritone Efraín Solís as Alvaro – a couple on board hoping to reignite their flame. Tenor César Delgado will make his OSJ debut as Arcadio, the nephew of the steamboat captain. Baritone Ricardo José Rivera returns to OSJ as the mysterious man Riolobo, with bass-baritone OSJ Artist-in-Residence Vartan Gabrielian making his role debut as the Captain, who helms the steamboat El Dorado. 

The chorus ensemble is comprised of Rachel Beninghof, Lauren Biglow, Rebecca Bradley, Elise van Etten, Andrew Fellows, Glen Hall, Danielle Imai, Brennah Kemmerly, Kyounghee Lee, Joachim Luis, Eric Mellum, Daniel Rios, Brendan Stone, and Nicolas Vasquez-Gerst. 

The creative team for this production is Joseph Marcheso (Conductor), Crystal Manich (Director), Haley Stamats (Associate Director), Liliana Duque-Piñeiro (Scenic Designer), Tláloc López-Watermann (Lighting Designer), Ulises Alcala (Costume Designer), Sharon Peng (Hair and Makeup Designer), Johannes Löhner (Assistant Conductor and Chorus Master), and Michelle Ainna Cuizon (Assistant Director). 

Photo credit: David Allen

Photos: First Look at FLORENCIA EN EL AMAZONAS at Opera San Jose
Guadalupe Paz, Ricardo Jose Rivera, Efrain Solis, and Vartan Gabrielian

Photos: First Look at FLORENCIA EN EL AMAZONAS at Opera San Jose
Elizabeth Caballero

Photos: First Look at FLORENCIA EN EL AMAZONAS at Opera San Jose
Efrain Solis, Ricardo Jose Rivera, and Guadalupe Paz

Photos: First Look at FLORENCIA EN EL AMAZONAS at Opera San Jose
Efraín Solís, Alexa Anderson, Guadalupe Paz, and César Delgado

Photos: First Look at FLORENCIA EN EL AMAZONAS at Opera San Jose
Vartan Gabrielian, and Ricardo Jose Rivera

Photos: First Look at FLORENCIA EN EL AMAZONAS at Opera San Jose
Elizabeth Caballero and Ricardo Jose Rivera


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