|Traditional Trinidal Carnival costume (left) and Keith Miller (right)|
The opera will be directed by John Hoomes, who we asked about the production. He told us:
"As opposed to some productions of the work, our production with focus more of the magic-realistic, sensual, fever-dream aspects of the piece, with extensive dreamlike immersive HD video, and a living, writhing, singing river...As Riolobo, [Keith Miller] will sing the role of the steersman of the steamship, and he will also appear as a manifestation of a mystic Amazon River god. His river god costume will be inspired by the male costumes from Trinidad Carnival."Hoomes suggested that we do an online search to see what the Trinidad Carnival costumes look like and were we ever pleasantly surprised. We can't imagine a singer in all of opera who would look better in a Carnival costume.
In 1996, Florencia en al Amazonas was the first Spanish-language opera to be commissioned by a major American opera house. It premiered at the Houston Grand Opera, and was subsequently performed at the Los Angeles Opera and the Seattle Opera. Daniel Catán died in 2011 at age 62, shortly after the premiere of his last opera, Il Postino, based on the popular Italian film. At the time of his death, he was at work on a new piece, Meet John Doe, inspired by Frank Capra’s classic film of the same title.
Andrew Garland sings Riolobo's invocation from Florencia en al Amazonas:
The two-act opera Florencia en al Amazonas is set on the steamboat El Dorado in 1910, where the famous opera singer Florencia is traveling down the Amazon to perform in Manaus. Florencia desires to encounter her lost love, a butterfly hunter who entered the jungle and never returned. The dramas aboard the steamboat weave love, conflict, loss, a violent storm, and ultimately a cholera epidemic that keeps the passengers quarantined and Florencia’s dream apparently dashed.
The Nashville Opera will present the opera on Friday, January 23, Sunday, January 25 and Tuesday, January 27, 2015. Single tickets are available online.