(WNY News Now) – FREDONIA, N.Y. – Live at the Met, the Metropolitan Opera’s award-winning series of live, high definition (HD) opera transmissions to theaters around the world, continues the 2023-24 season at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House Performing Arts Center on Sat., Dec. 9, at 1 p.m., with Mexican Composer Daniel Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas.
Inspired by the magical realism of Gabriel García Márquez, Catán’s 1996 opera tells the enchanting story of a
Brazilian opera diva who returns to her homeland to perform at the legendary opera house of Manaus – and to
search for her lost lover, who has vanished into the jungle. It is ostensibly the tale of passengers traveling down the Amazon River aboard the steamship El Dorado; the real drama, though, lies in the psychological journeys that each character undertakes.
Catán’s score is clearly and unabashedly romantic, reveling in luxuriant beauty and lush evocations of the natural world. The opera’s climax belongs to its leading lady, who is transformed into a butterfly as her spirit transcends the human realm – recalling Wagner’s Isolde and her soaring Liebestod.
The Met production stars soprano Ailyn Pérez as Florencia Grimaldi, with Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin
on the podium to lead a spellbinding new production by Mary Zimmerman that brings the mysterious and magical realm of the Amazon to the Met stage. A distinguished ensemble of artists portray the diva’s fellow travelers on the river boat to Manaus, including soprano Gabriella Reyes as the journalist Rosalba, bass-baritone Greer Grimsley as the ship’s captain, baritone Mattia Olivieri as his enigmatic first mate, tenor Mario Chang as the captain’s nephew Arcadio, and mezzo-soprano Nancy Fabiola Herrera and baritone Michael Chioldi as the feuding couple Paula and Álvaro.
Sung in Spanish with English subtitles, this production runs two hours, 45 minutes with one intermission. Live at the Met is underwritten with support from Daniel S. Kaufman and Timothy W. Beaver.
Individual tickets to each of the operas in the season are $20, ($18 Opera House members, $10 students). A
flexible subscription of eight tickets which can be used however you want – one at a time to eight different operas, all at once for eight people, or anything in between – is available for $142. Tickets may be purchased in person at the Opera House Box Office or by phone at 716-679-1891, Tuesday-Friday, 12-4:30 p.m. Tickets may be purchased online anytime at www.fredopera.org .