<< -- 4 -- Maria Nockin RIVER SPIRITS
The story deals with a group of people, including a famous diva, Florencia Grimaldi, voyaging down the Amazon from Leticia, Colombia, to Manaus, Brazil, on the steamship El Dorado in the early 1900s. Manaus, the site of a famous opera house, is nine hundred miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean and is surrounded by jungle wilderness.
Florencia Grimaldi (Patricia Schuman) walks on deck in the moonlight as El Capitán (Oren Gradus) steers the 'El Dorado'. Photo: George Hixson/Houston Grand Opera
As the opera opens a river creature who can appear in various forms, Riolobo, introduces us to the passengers as they embark for Manaus: Paula and Alvaro, a married couple seeking a resurgence of the love they once had for each other; Rosalba, a journalist writing a biography of Florencia; the ship's captain who loves his job; his nephew, Arcadio, who is much less enthusiastic about his work on the ship; and finally, Florencia, who arrives late and is barely able to jump onto the boat as it is leaving the pier [listen -- CD1 track 2, 0:00-0:53].
Copyright © 23 November 2003
Maria Nockin, Arizona USA