Iconic Productions: Florencia en el Amazonas

“[In the 1990s,] we flew to [Gabriel García Márquez’s] walled compound deep in the jungle near Cartagena in an open helicopter with protection from guards armed with machine guns. We landed on a helipad near his compound and went through the underbrush in a jeep with our protectors. If that was not enough of a thriller, then meeting and working with Márquez is a memory for life. You could see the essence of his very being was like the magical realism that spilled onto the pages of his novels.” – Stage Director Francesca Zambello on Gabriel García Márquez’s influence on developing Florencia en el Amazonas (1997)

Sheri Greenawald as Florencia in Florencia en el Amazonas (1997); Photo: Ken Howard

Sheri Greenawald as Florencia in Florencia en el Amazonas (1997);
Photo: Ken Howard

LA Opera co-commissioned Florencia en el Amazonas with Houston Grand Opera and Seattle Opera. The original production premiered in Houston in 1996 and was subsequently brought to Los Angeles the following year. With music that evokes Puccini and a story about personal discovery, composer Daniel Catán (Il Postino) and librettist Marcela Fuentes-Berain’s opera follows Florencia, a famous diva, through her journey in the Amazon to pursue the man she loves, Cristóbal. The company revived Florencia in 2014 to rave reviews.

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