Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-03-16
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Lesbian director sails again with Lyric Opera's 'Florencia en el Amazonas'
by Scott C. Morgan
2021-11-03

This article shared 1084 times since Wed Nov 3, 2021
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Lesbian director Francesca Zambello has successfully ferried the Spanish-language opera Florencia en el Amazonas (Florencia in the Amazon) throughout its entire existence.

Zambello not only staged its wildly successful world-premiere launch at the Houston Grand Opera in 1996, but she has also captained numerous revivals across North America—including the Lyric Opera of Chicago debut of Florencia en el Amazonas this November.

"What exciting about doing it now is that the Lyric is committed to doing a beautiful, new production that is more lavish and visually rich," Zambello said. "It mirrors the music, which is full of romantic melodies."

Created by the late Mexican composer Daniel Catan (1949-2011) and Mexican librettist Marcela Fuentes-Berain, Florencia en el Amazonas takes its inspiration from the works of Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel García Marquez (1927-2014). Although it's not directly based on his novels like Love in the Time of Cholera or One Hundred Years of Solitude, Florencia en el Amazonas is redolent with Márquez's use of magical realism.

"I try to echo that in the production," Zambello said. "There's a lot of enhanced visuals, and dance is a major component to convey the world of the Amazon."

The opera largely takes place aboard the river steamship El Dorado as it journeys to a remote opera house in Manaus, Brazil. Among the passengers is the world-famous opera singer Florencia Grimaldi, who returns to her homeland for a special concert and to reconnect with a former lover.

"Twenty-five years later, your entire take on characters have changed," said Zambello, reflecting on "the way that love at different points in your life speaks to you, and how it changes you."

Zambello said she previously related more with the opera's young lovers. But now Zambello aligns herself more with the title character who has "traveled and seen the world through art" while also feeling the important pull of returning home.

"I spent 18 months at home in central New York with my wife and son," said Zambello about her situation during much of the COVID-19 pandemic. "Home has a lot more power for people now after everything we've been through."

Like so many people who have been re-examining their lives and careers, Zambello has announced some major professional changes.

Next summer, Zambello is to step down as the artistic and general director of the Glimmerglass Festival of opera and music theater in Cooperstown, New York. It will be her 12th and farewell season.

"It's time to explore new fields," Zambello said. "When you've done something well and you're proud of it, sometimes it's time to let it go."

Yet Zambello still plans to hold onto her other major job as artistic director of Washington National Opera in Washington, D.C.

"The company is expanding over the next five years," Zambello said. "I will be focusing on many things not only inside the Kennedy Center, but outside it as well. There will be big announcements about that soon."

But in the meantime, Zambello is happy to return to the Lyric where she previously staged productions of Show Boat, Salome, and Porgy and Bess. She hopes that Florencia en el Amazonas will attract new audiences.

"This is a great opera for newbies. The story draws you in, and the music is listenable and transports you to both the Amazon and into the souls of the characters," Zambello said. "And its two acts last about an hour each, so amid COVID you don't have to be there too long."

Now the Lyric has previously staged the two mariachi operas Cruzar la Cara de la Luna and El Pasado Nunca Se Termina by the late composer Jose (Pepe) Martínez as part of its Lyric Unlimited initiative. But technically Florencia en el Amazonas marks the company's first mainstage opera performed in Spanish.

"Florencia has been staged at many regional companies, but to come to a major city and one of the biggest opera companies in America is an honor," Zambello said. "It's a wonderful statement to the community that the Lyric is presenting a piece in Spanish, based on the works of one of the world's most important writers and with a Mexican composer. It has an incredible pedigree."

Florencia en el Amazonas receives five performances at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, 20 N. Wacker Drive, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 13, 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Nov. 18 and 26, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 21 and 28. Sung in Spanish with projected English translations. Proof of vaccination with government ID required for entry. Tickets are $39 to $319. Call 312-827-5600 or visit lyricopera.org .


This article shared 1084 times since Wed Nov 3, 2021
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Seagull 2022-05-25
- Title: Seagull. Playwright: Anton Chekhov At: Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted St.; Steppenwolf.org Tickets: $20-$88. Runs through: June 12 The final test of success for any undertaking lies in how well it accomplishes its intended purpose. ...


Gay News

THEATER Lesbian-cruise drama 'Seven Days at Sea' running thru June 5 2022-05-25
- Light and Sound Productions is running the world premiere of Seven Days at Sea, written by Martha Hansen and directed by Margaret Knapp, through Sunday, June 5, at The Edge Theater, 5451 N. Broadway. The performance ...


Gay News

THEATER Musical 'Get Out Alive' running July 8-Aug. 7 2022-05-23
- Haven will continue its 2021-22 season with Nikki Lynette's multidisciplinary afrogoth musical Get Out Alive, co-directed by Roger Ellis and Lucky Stiff, which features the writer and her personal journey with mental health. The production will ...


Gay News

Billy Masters: Theater 2022-05-23
- "Well, thanks Colin. That's the end of my career. Because you know, that role really should have been mine."—Rupert Everett tells Piers Morgan his reaction when he heard Colin Firth would play the lead in Tom ...


Gay News

PREVIEW Here comes the sun: Summer plays are blooming indoors and outside 2022-05-22
- There were times when we thought that the sunshine would never return, but despite climate change and contagion, there's no stopping summer—and while we usually associate expanded daylight hours with outdoor activities, a number of theaters ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Broadway, JoJo Siwa, WEHO Pride, 'Jurassic World,' Madonna 2022-05-22
- The Broadway League announced that all 41 Broadway theaters in New York City have extended the current mask requirement for audiences through at least June 30, Playbill noted. Charlotte St. Martin, president of The Broadway League, ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The Chinese Lady 2022-05-22
- It began in 1834 as an advertising gimmick: In order to promote sales of their Far East Oriental imported goods, the Carnes Brothers procured their company a real-life spokesperson. This was the teenage Afong Moy, known ...


Gay News

THEATER Season of Concern to present 'Jerry's Girls' on June 27 2022-05-21
- "Jerry's Girls: A Benefit for Season of Concern" will take place Monday, June 27, at 7:30 p.m. at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. Season of Concern Chicago is dedicated to providing financial assistance to ...


Gay News

Quiz program 'Wait, Wait' to start taping June 16 at the Studebaker 2022-05-16
- Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!, NPR's weekly hour-long quiz program, will resume live audience recordings Thursday, June 16, in a new Chicago home: the historic Studebaker Theater at the Fine Arts Building, 401 S. Michigan Ave. ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Queer playwright, LGBTQ+ films, BMI Pop Awards, new superhero 2022-05-15
- Jeremy O. Harris, the queer Tony-nominated author of Slave Play, has been named the presiding playwright for the 2023 Yale Drama Series Prize—one of the theater world's most prestigious playwriting honors, Deadline noted. Harris joins the ...


Gay News

THEATER 'The Secretaries: A Parable' running through June 11 2022-05-12
- First Floor Theater returns to live production with the world premiere of company member Omer Abbas Salem's The Secretaries: A Parable following the script's 2021 development as part of Goodman Theatre's Future Labs. The production will ...


Gay News

THEATER Underscore's 'Notes & Letters' running through May 28 2022-05-12
- Underscore Theatre Company celebrates its 10th-anniversary season with the world premiere of the musical Notes & Letters, which features book, music and lyrics by Annabelle Lee Revak (she/her) and is ...


Gay News

FILM 'The Adventures of Priscilla' to show nationwide on June 2 2022-05-11
- Iconic Events Releasing will kick off Pride Month with a special nationwide rerelease of MGM's classic 1994 Australian film The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Screenings will take place in select theaters nationwide on ...


Gay News

Kokandy Productions to present 'Cruel Intentions: The '90s Musical' June 9-Aug. 7 2022-05-10
-- From a press release - CHICAGO (May 10, 2022) — Kokandy Productions is launching its 10th-anniversary season this summer with the Chicago storefront premiere of Cruel Intentions: The '90s Musical—a flirty and fun, nostalgia-packed show ...


Gay News

Tonys: Queer-themed 'A Strange Loop' leads nods; 'Paradise Square,' 'MJ' close behind 2022-05-09
- Nominations for the 75th Tony Awards were announced May 9—and a Pulitzer Prize-winning original musical and a play that recounts the 2008 financial crisis led the nods, CNN reported. Leading the nominations was A Strange Loop, ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.