Loading Events

in the Amazon


March 15, 2019
March 17, 2019


Saenger Theatre


Spanish with English supertitles


Daniel Catán


Marcela Fuentes-Berain


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.

To read the full Opera synopsis please click here.

Cast and Creatives

Elizabeth Caballero

as 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

An El Paso Texas native, Mexican-American Baritone Luis Alejandro Orozco has been praised for his “voluminous baritone and beautiful legato.”

Mr. Orozco’s 2022-2023 season begins with Nashville Opera, singing Marcello in La bohème. Additionally, he returns to The Metropolitan Opera as a Flemish Deputy in Don Carlos. Last season included his Metropolitan Opera debut, singing the Prime Minister in their English version of Cendrillon. Last season he also curated and sang in a Hispanic Heritage Concert with Fort Worth Opera, followed by his debut with Virginia Opera as Marcello in a condensed La bohème. He then returned to Opéra de Lyon to remount Maria de Buenos Aires on their mainstage, singing El Payador, joined Intermountain Opera as the Count in Le nozze di Figaro, and appeared with Minnesota Opera in a gala concert.

During the 2020-2021 season, Luis Orozco made his Swiss debut as Riolobo in Florencia en el Amazonas with Theater St. Gallen, performed Escamillo in Carmen with Pensacola Opera, and joined the Nuits de Fourvière Festival to sing El Payador in Maria de Buenos Aires in collaboration with Opéra de Lyon.

Artist Website >>

Evelyn Saavedra

as 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 Pezzarossi

as 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 Gaudreau

as Alvaro

Cody Martin

as Conductor

American conductor Cody Martin was recently named Music Director at Pensacola Opera, where he was previously the Director of Education and Director of the Artists in Residence Program since 2017.  During the 2023-24 season, he leads a production of Lucia di Lammermoor and serves as associate conductor and chorus director for Die Fledermaus, in addition to continuing his work with the company’s nationally respected Jan Miller Studio Artist Program. Recent seasons have seen Cody leading productions of CarouselDie ZauberflöteDon GiovanniAs OneFlorencia en el AmazonasMan of La Mancha and María de Buenos Aires in Pensacola, in addition to various concert appearances. He made his debut with Fargo-Moorhead Opera conducting Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers in 2019. Other companies Cody has enjoyed working with include Des Moines Metro Opera, Arizona Opera, Opera Birmingham, Virginia Opera, and the Janiec Opera Company at Brevard Music Center.

Cody holds degrees from Murray State University and Florida State University. He lives in Pensacola with his former shelter dog, Rosina, a corgi/dachshund mix (@rosinathelongdog).

>> Artist Website

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.

* Pensacola Opera debut artist

Production Team

CONDUCTOR | Cody Martin
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,
Cost: $30

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
Cost: $50

Sign up for our newsletter to keep up with new events