Florencia in the Amazons is everything I’d hoped opera would be when I signed up for our first season subscription. Spending money on the possibility of a beautiful performace was enticing and nearly assured, particularly as the only opera I’d seen was the Barber of Seville which made me laugh despite having to read the translations.
The music was beautiful and moving, taking hold of my emotions and using it for its own purpose. Lovers spats, longing, hope and despair were all as clear through the music as they were through the lyrics. Empathizing with the characters, even though they were caricatures, was as simple as talking with your best friend.
Amazingly, all the performers could act and act well. Many of the performers I’ve seen have had suffered from the same difficulties that Keanu Reeves suffers: wooden face, stilted speaking. The seats I have are close enough to actually see the expression on their faces and it was amazing to see the expression coming out. In addition, they’d added some visual candy in the form of modern dancers during the instrumental sections. They depicted everything from the storm to piranhas.
My favorite part of the whole opera was the reveal at the end. Florencia had been searching for her love, who had gone off to find the fabled Emerald Butterfly. At the end of the show, Florencia morphed into the butterfly that he was seeking, completing the circle. This transformation allowed her to become her complete and happy self. I still remember the feeling of bliss at the end.