Thanks to our friend - baritone Cesar San Martin - we got a sneak peak of the Opera di Firenze's latest show: a duo presentation of Spanish masterworks from the end of the 19th Century, El Amor Brujo and Goyescas.
The former is a solo act of 30 minutes of a flamenco-inspired love tale written by Manuel de Falla... the story of a gipsy whose tragic heartbreak is so deep that she resorts to witchcraft to mend her heart. This is a very unique piece for Florence, particularly for an audience that is not used to the sounds of Andalusia. The tale itself is heart wrenching, the performance quite strong, and the scenery as simple as you can get (think a chair and rose petals) but adds to the drama.
The latter is a full on production featuring Cesar as one of the lead characters. A piece written by Enrique Granados in 1911, the spectacular work is inspired by the themes found in Goya's paintings... fashionable young Madrid, love affairs, courting, and rivalry. The scenery is epic, and the costumes are intricately detailed, reminiscent of some of Goya's paintings, including the Clothed (and Unclothed at one point) Maja. The cast is strong and also features a dance entourage that liven up the show, right up to the opera's dramatic ending... we can just imagine the Golden-age Spanish ladies tearing up during the show's first run.
El Amor Brujo/Goyescas runs through February 7. Tickets and more info here.