Program Notes

Lonely Creatures

Posted by Jeff Counts in Program Notes

Daniel Catán once referred to composers as “lonely creatures” and as a member in good standing of that peculiar cohort, he too was willingly doomed to eternal creative seclusion by his craft. Perhaps also like composers who choose to write for the stage, Catán admitted…

Musical Highlights of Florencia

Posted by Carol Anderson in Music, Program Notes

I’ve selected some of my favorite musical moments from Florencia en el Amazonas and shared some thoughts and observations about each. The music of Florencia is through-composed for each act, meaning there are rarely endings or pauses between scenes; instead most scenes are linked through…

The Magic of Florencia

Posted by Carol Anderson in Program Notes

Magic realism is an artistic style in which real-world events or characters collide with magical or supernatural elements in a natural, possibly even expected way. The term was first used to describe an aesthetic in certain types early twentieth century visual art, but has become…

The Creation of Florencia

Posted by Carol Anderson in Program Notes

The commission of Florencia en el Amazonas grew out of the success of Rappacini’s Daughter, which brought the work of Daniel Catán to the attention of David Gockley, then general director of Houston Grand Opera, a company known for its support and encouragement of new…

The Amazon – The World of Florencia

Posted by Carol Anderson in Program Notes

The vast expanse of the Amazon River is the setting for the story of Florencia en el Amazonas. The Amazon itself is an astounding ecosystem vital to the survival of our planet. Covering approximately 30% of the landmass of South America, the Amazon River accounts…

Trovatore and Tradition

Posted by Paula Fowler in Program Notes

By the time Verdi began writing operas in the 1830s, the art form of opera had been around for centuries, so people arrived at the theatre with specific expectations. Among the elements generally anticipated were a big chorus scene to open the show, major act-ending…

Verdi and the Cult of 19th Century Personality

Posted by Jeff Counts in Program Notes

FAIR WARNING TO PURISTS: POTENTIALLY OFFENSIVE COMPARISONS TO FOLLOW. If Franz Liszt was the 19th century Elvis, then Giuseppe Verdi was their Andrew Lloyd Webber (see above). The stories of Liszt’s rock star persona and swoon-inducing concerts are legion (and possibly a bit exaggerated, but…