in the Amazon
March 15, 2019
March 17, 2019
Spanish with English supertitles
If you are looking for a magical journey, look no further than Florencia in the Amazon – Pensacola Opera’s take on Daniel Catán’s transformative opera. Florencia shimmers with passionate melodies and sumptuous orchestrations reminiscent of Puccini and Debussy. This is one you won’t want to miss!
So what’s the story about?
They say that only the stage brings her to life. | Florencia Grimaldi—an opera singer of great renown—is returning to her hometown of Manaus in search of Cristóbal, the love she left behind twenty years ago. She and the other passengers aboard the El Dorado soon learn what happens when fate meets fantasy.
Why should you go?
A fantasy, an illusion. | One word: projections. The stage setup is seemingly simple, but what makes this production stand out is the unique vision of stage director John Hoomes (Nashville Opera) and video & lighting designer Barry Steele. As the story opens, the shimmering Amazon comes to life with full stage projections and members of the opera chorus slowly emerging, creating a constant wave of movement. The visual effect is rather stunning — and thoroughly engaging.
Oh, one last thing.
An apparition in the vulgar jungle of illusions. | The opera is loosely based on the novel Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez. The term “magical realism” was first coined by Márquez. It is said that he used this technique in his novels to bridge the gap between reality and fantasy so that there is no distinction between the two. The libretto contains this magical realistic style, complimented beautifully by Catán’s lyrical music.
Cast and Creatives
Elizabeth Caballeroas Florencia
Soprano Elizabeth Caballero’s performance in her signature role, Violetta in La traviata, is touted as “animated, communicative and believable, singing with a big, facile, focused sound while making the vocal demands of the role seem easy and natural.” Her dramatically compelling interpretation of Violetta led to recent engagements to perform the role for houses across the country, such as Florentine Opera, Madison Opera, Pacific Symphony, and the Orlando Philharmonic. This season, Ms. Caballero will reprise her Violetta in La traviata with la Compañía Lírica Nacional in Costa Rica; sing the soprano solo in Carmina Burana with Asheville Symphony and National Chorale; return to The Metropolitan Opera for their production of La bohème; perform the role of Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly with Pensacola Opera; and reprise the title role of Daniel Catán’s Spanish opera Florencia en el Amazonas with Madison Opera. Future seasons will see Ms. Caballero making returns to Seattle Opera and Austin Opera.
Luis Alejandro Orozco*as Ríolobo
Mexican American baritone Luis Alejandro Orozco is known as the leading interpreter in the United States for the role of El Payador in Piazzolla’s María de Buenos Aires. Orozco is an El Paso Texas native. He has performed with such companies as: Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Cincinnati Opera, The Aspen Music Festival, Des Moines Metro Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, Florentine Opera, New Orleans Opera, Atlanta Opera, Arizona Opera, Washington National Opera, Mill City Summer Opera, Opera Saratoga, Austin Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, El Paso Opera, Lexington Philharmonic, Syracuse Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Opera Naples, Anchorage Opera, Opera Grand Rapids, Lyric Opera Baltimore, and Urban Arias. In the 17-18 Season, he will make his San Diego Opera, Nashville Opera, and Ft. Worth Opera Festival debuts.
Orozco has performed the roles of Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Escamillo in Carmen, Don Giovanni, Giulio Cesare, Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Tarquinius in The Rape of Lucretia, Harry Easter in Street Scene, Le Podestat in Le Docteur Miracle, Taddeo in L’Italiana in Algeri, Marcello in La bohème, le Dancaïre in Carmen, Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette, Riolobo in Florencia en el Amazonas, Hannah before in As One, and Belcore in L’elisir d’amore.
Overseas, Orozco has performed the role of Papageno in Mozart’s Magic Flute, with The Seoul International Opera Festival in South Korea, and the title role in Rossini’s Il Signor Bruschino with the CCM Spoleto Festival. Orozco was a part of the Kennedy Center World Stages Festival in the premiere staged reading of Fallujah by composer Tobin Stokes in 2013.
Evelyn Saavedraas Rosalba
Praised for her “lustrous soprano voice”, Evelyn Saavedra is quickly establishing herself as a “gifted young singer to watch” (South Florida Classical Review). Born in Cuba and raised in Miami, Florida, Evelyn returned to Pensacola Opera for the 2017/18 season as an Artist in Resident where she was seen in the roles of Maria in Maria de Buenos Aires, Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, and Antonia in Man of La Mancha. During the 2016/17 season, she debuted as Young Alyce in Glory Denied, Sacerdotessa in Aïda, and Sister Catherine in the Florida premiere of Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, where she also covered the role of Kitty Hart. Other operatic credits include Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Rose in Street Scene, The Governess in The Turn of the Screw, Featured Dater in the world premiere of Michael Ching’s Speed Dating Tonight, and Agrippina in Agrippina where she was praised for “coloring her vocalism expressively… she dominated every scene, singing with striking dramatic heft and passion” (South Florida Classical Review).
In 2016 she returned to the Janiec Opera Company at the Brevard Music Center to perform the female title role of Epiphany Proudfoot in the world premiere of Falling Angel, an opera by J. Mark Scearce, where she was lauded for being an “alluring soprano (who) brought sensitivity to Epiphany” (Wall Street Journal). On the concert stage she has been featured in Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Handel’s Messiah with the Choral Society of Pensacola. The 2017/18 season marked her debut with the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra where she appeared as a soloist in their Mozart Madness concert. Other credits include soprano soloist in Vaughn Williams’s Serenade to Music conducted by Keith Lockhart as well as his Symphony No.3 conducted by Jayce Ogren with the Brevard Music Center Orchestra.
Ms. Saavedra holds a Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance & Literature from the Eastman School of Music where she received the first prize at the Friends of Eastman Opera Competition in 2015, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance from Florida International University.
Andres Acosta*as Arcadio
Cuban American tenor, Andres Acosta, began the 2017 season with his final Master’s recital at the Jacobs School of Music, where he studied with acclaimed soprano, Carol Vaness. Andres was a member of the prestigious Merola Opera program and made his San Francisco Opera debut on the Schwabacher concert, covering Ramiro in Rossini’s La Cenerentola and performing on the Grand Finale concert. He is currently a Resident Artist with Minnesota Opera as a part of their 2017-2018 season.
In 2017 he performed the role of Ernesto in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, Don Basilio in Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro, Borsa in Verdi’s Rigoletto and closed the season covering the role of Nicias in Massenet’s Thaïs. He returns to Minnesota Opera in June of 2018 as Timothy in Gregory Spears’ new opera, Fellow Travelers.
Andres received an Encouragement award as Central Regional finalist for the Metropolitan Opera National Council competition, won second place in the Dorothy Lincoln-Smith competition, and first place in the National Society of Arts and Letters-Bloomington Chapter competition. He was awarded the Judy George Junior Young Artist First Prize award in the 2015 Young Patronesses of the Arts competition and is recognized as a Brautlecht Estate Endowed and Music Guild Scholar.
Andres earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at Florida State University where he studied with David Okerlund.
Corey Crider*as Capitán
Baritone Corey Crider is an alumnus of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Opera Center and recently returned to the company as Malatesta in Don Pasquale. Additional recent highlights include Marcello in La bohème with the Munich Philharmonic and Arizona Opera, Sharpless in Madame Butterfly with Dayton Opera, and Escamillo in Carmen with Lyric Opera of Kansas City. In the 2016-2017 season, Corey added two important roles to his repertoire: Ford in Verdi’s Falstaff (Opera on the James) and the title role in Rigoletto (Mississippi Opera). Additionally, he sang Scarpia in Tosca with Intermountain Opera and Finger Lakes Opera, returned to Opera Roanoke to perform his acclaimed Emile DeBeque in South Pacific, and joined the Opera Company of Middlebury as Michele/Marco in Il tabarro/Gianni Schicchi. The 2017-2018 season includes Escamillo in Carmen with Madison Opera, Germont in La Traviata with Opera at DuPage, a return to Opera Roanoke as Marcello in La bohème, and an appearance with the Paducah Symphony Orchestra for Belshazzar’s Feast. Upcoming seasons include appearances with The Dallas Opera, Pensacola Opera, and Opera on the James.
Christina Pezzarossias Paula
Originally from Miles City, Montana, Mezzo-soprano Christina Pezzarossi received her Master’s degree from the The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. Ms. Pezzarossi’s operatic roles include Flora in La Traviata, Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte, the title role in Agrippina, and Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia. This summer, she will return as an Apprentice Artist to Des Moines Metro Opera’s Summer Festival, where she will cover the Stewardess in Flight and perform in various scenes and concerts. She has also performed with Opera San Jose, Opera NEO, Oberlin in Italy, Emerald City Opera, and Taos Opera Institute and received an Encouragement Award from the San Francisco Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
Corey Gaudreauas Alvaro
Cody Martinas Conductor
Cody Martin is currently the Director of Education and Director of the Artists in Residence Program at Pensacola Opera. During the 2018-19 season, he leads a production of Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas and is associate conductor for Roméo et Juliette. In the 2017-18 season, he conducted productions of María de Buenos Aires and Man of La Mancha. Cody worked with Des Moines Metro Opera this summer for his third season, serving as associate conductor for Rusalka and coaching singers in the Apprentice Artist Program. He has previously worked on productions of A Little Night Music, Orphée et Eurydice, and Falstaff in Des Moines. He was on the music staff at Arizona Opera for two seasons, working most recently on productions of Rusalka, Madama Butterfly, Riders of the Purple Sage (world premiere), and La Cenerentola. Cody also worked with Virginia Opera in the 2014-15 season as the Emerging Artist Coach. He was on the music staff of the Janiec Opera Company at Brevard Music Center for three seasons, working as an assistant conductor and coach for productions of The Ballad of Baby Doe, Così fan tutte, Rigoletto, Sweeney Todd, Don Giovanni, and Albert Herring.
Cody holds degrees from Murray State University and Florida State University.
John Hoomes*as Director
Mr. Hoomes has been the artistic director of Nashville Opera since 1995. Also a freelance stage director, he has directed over 150 productions of opera and music theatre in the US, South America, and Canada. The New York Times declared his Nashville Opera world premiere of Elmer Gantry “An Operatic Miracle…in Nashville.” A June 2010 Opera News feature article acknowledged, “Hoomes has proved himself one of the most interesting stage directors in the regional market today with a seemingly limitless knowledge of repertoire.”
Since receiving his masters degree at Indiana University, Mr. Hoomes has worked for many professional opera companies including Opera Lyra Ottawa, Teatro Colón, Cincinnati Opera, The Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Opera Philadelphia, Opera, Indianapolis Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, and Opera Columbus.
Mr. Hoomes has directed, among numerous other productions, Salome, Rigoletto, Tosca, The Pearl Fishers, La Bohème, Carmen, and Der Rosenkavalier for Nashville Opera; Madama Butterfly and Carmen for Kentucky Opera; Die Fledermaus and Susannah for Indianapolis Opera; The Marriage of Figaro, Rigoletto, and La Bohème for Opera Carolina; Don Giovanni, Elmer Gantry, and Salome for Florentine Opera; Don Giovanni for Opera Cleveland; Ernani and Jenufa for Sarasota Opera; and Turandot for The Opera Festival of New Jersey, Nashville Opera, Opera Columbus, Opera Memphis, and Opera Carolina.
Recently Mr. Hoomes staged the world premieres of Robert Aldridge’s Elmer Gantry, which was recorded on Naxos Records, and songwriter Marcus Hummon’s chamber opera Surrender Road at Martha Rivers Ingram Hall in Nashville. He also directed the Southeastern professional premiere of two contemporary pieces, Poulenc’s La Voix Humaine and Peter Maxwell Davies’ The Lighthouse. In fall 2009 Mr. Hoomes directed the Tennessee premiere of The Fall of the House of Usher by composer Philip Glass, a groundbreaking multi-media production, critically acclaimed both by the Wall Street Journal and Opera News.
CONDUCTOR | Cody Martin
STAGE DIRECTOR | John Hoomes*
LIGHTING/PROJECTION DESIGNER | Barry Steele
REHEARSAL PIANIST | Kelvin Ying
STAGE MANAGER | Jennifer Shaw
The Pensacola Opera Chorus & Pensacola Symphony Orchestra
* Pensacola Opera debut artist
Meet the Artists Luncheon
Tuesday, March 5 at 11:30 AM,
Meet the Artists Reception
Friday, March 15 after the show
Cost: $50, $40 for Season Subscribers
Director’s Champagne Brunch
Sunday, March 17 at 11:45 AM