Florencia en el Amazonas (Florencia in the Amazon)
Composer: Daniel Catán
Composer Bio: Daniel Catán, composed in a lyrical, romantic style that lends itself particularly well to the human voice, which features in the majority of his works. Lush orchestrations reminiscent of Debussy and Strauss along with Latin American instruments and rhythms are regularly heard in his music. His opera Florencia en el Amazonas has the distinction of being the first opera in Spanish commissioned by a major American company. The success of this opera led to the commission of Salsipuedes for Houston Grand Opera. His fourth opera, Il Postino, was commissioned by Los Angeles Opera and premiered in Los Angeles, Vienna and Paris in 2011 featuring Plácido Domingo. At the time of his death, Catán was at work on his next opera, Meet John Doe. Born in Mexico, Catán studied philosophy at the University of Sussex in England before enrolling in Princeton as a PhD student in composition under the tuition of Milton Babbitt, James Randall and Benjamin Boretz. His music is published by Associated Music Publishers.
Librettist: Marcela Fuentes-Berain
Librettist Bio: Marcela Fuentes-Berain is a multifaceted writer who has worked in film, opera, television, radio, and theater. Among her palette of projects is the script of Hasta Morir, which recevied two nominations from the Mexican Academy of Film Arts and Sciences; and Sumas y Restas, co-written with Colombian cult director Víctor Gaviria, awarded Best Movie at the Cartagena Film Festival and Best Foreign Film by the Mexican Academy of Film Arts and Sciences. She had the great honor to work closely with the late Hollywood director Tony Scott on Man on Fire, starring Denzel Washington. In 1995 her mentor, teacher and friend Gabriel García Márquez asked her to write the libretto for Florencia en el Amazonas, which has been performed in several opera houses around the world from Heidelberg, Germany to Manaus, Brazil. She has been a script consultant for the Sundance Institute for more than 15 years. Her prestige as a teacher has taken her all around Latin America and Spain giving workshops and being part of several juries. She was chosen to create the academic program for the first Mexican screenwriting school, to open in Morelia in 2015. She has been a member of the selection committee of the Huelva Ibero-American Film Festival since 2001. In 2010 she was part of the Bicentennial Film Committee in Mexico. She currently lives in Mexico City.
Premiere Date: October 25, 1996
Description: Act 1
Florencia Grimaldi, a famous opera diva, is returning to her homeland of Brazil to sing at the Teatro Amazonas in Manaus, in hopes that her lover Cristobal, a butterfly hunter, will return from the Jungle to hear her. She boards a steamboat for the trip down the Amazon, and hides her identity from the other passengers, one of whom is Rosalba, a budding journalist hopeful to interview Florencia and who has compiled information on Florencia for the past two years in a notebook.

When Rosalba's notebook accidentally falls overboard, the captain's nephew, Arcadio, dives in to retrieve it, and Rosalba instantly becomes infatuated with him. A storm forces the ship ashore.

Act 2

After the storm passes, the ship resumes its journey to Manaus. Rosalba, distraught over her notebook (which was destroyed in the storm) decides to abandon her feelings for Arcadio. Florencia and Rosalba then argue over the importance of the notebook and its contents, and Rosalba realizes that the woman she is speaking to is in fact Florencia herself. Inspired by Florencia's faith in the power of love, Rosalba decides to accept her feelings for Arcadio.

The boat arrives in Manaus but a cholera outbreak prevents the passengers from going ashore. Florencia, in despair over the possibility of never seeing Cristobal again, is magically transformed into a butterfly, so that perhaps she will be reunited with her butterfly-catcher husband.

Character List (Major): Florencia (sop)
Rosalba (sop)
Riolobo (bar)
Arcadio (ten)
Character List (Minor): Capitan (bass)
Alvaro (bar)
Paula (mezzo)
Length: 01:40
Total Acts: 2
Contact: Not Available
Librettist Web Site: http://marcelafuentesberain.com/
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