Florencia in the Amazons


Approximate Running Time: Two hours, ten minutes, with 1 intermission

In Spanish with English captions

What's Going On?

The opera star Florencia Grimaldi boards the steamboat El Dorado to travel down the Amazon to the jungle city of Manaus, where she will sing her first performance in her native South America in twenty years. Traveling incognita, Florencia wants to discover the fate of her former lover Cristóbal, a butterfly hunter. Cristóbal disappeared into the jungle, seeking a butterfly called the Emerald Muse, after Florencia left South America to pursue her career in Europe.

Also on board the El Dorado are Rosalba, a journalist who is writing Florencia's biography, Arcadio, the nephew of the ship’s captain, and Paula and Álvaro, a bickering husband and wife who hope that Florencia’s concert will rekindle the passion of their marriage.  No one is aware that the famous diva is one of the passengers on this voyage.  El Dorado’s crew includes the Captain and Rìolobo, a magical person who can assume various forms.

During the voyage, the Captain tells Florencia that Cristóbal has been missing for years and is presumed dead.

A storm of pink rain causes the steamship to run aground. Álvaro falls overboard, but survives. Paula, appalled by his accident, declares her love for him. Álvaro and Paula are reunited. El Dorado resumes its journey. Rosalba discovers Florencia’s identity and finds a lover in Arcadio. 

When El Dorado finally reaches its destination, the passengers and crew find that Manaus is overrun by a cholera epidemic and no one may disembark.  Florencia realizes that Cristóbal’s spirit is everywhere around her. Like the Emerald Muse butterfly, she is born anew.

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Photo Credit

© Seattle Opera photo