‘Florencia en el Amazonas’ review–Chicago Tribune

 “Here, those in the first few rows could see first-hand conductor Jordan de Souza’s masterly control of the mood and pacing in the crucial final passages.”

– Michael Phillips –

The time is the early 20th century; one character, the ship captain’s nephew, dreams of becoming an airplane pilot, so not too too early. Librettist Marcela Fuentes-Berain confines the narrative almost entirely to the steamboat known as El Dorado, heading for the city of Manaus in the Brazilian Amazonas region.

There, after an absence of 20 years, the world-famous operatic soprano Florencia Grimaldi will “unlock a long-silent opera house” with her magical voice. Traveling incognito on the ship, she is one of several passengers yearning for lost love.

Journalist Rosalba hopes to land the first-ever interview with La Grimaldi; meantime, en route to Manaus, she hopes to figure out her feelings regarding the ship captain’s nephew, whose warring impulses are best expressed by one vocal line: “If I ever fall in love, it will be with you.”