Even though it's based somewhat on the writing of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, this Spanish-language opera by Daniel Catan (Il Postino) and librettist Marcela Fuentes-Berain, which centers on a diva's search for lost love during a steamship journey through the Amazon, is more of an escapist diversion than anything very deep. What makes this production so engaging is the uniformly excellent vocal performances, especially by Chilean soprano Veronica Villarroel as the passionate title character. Grant Gershon and the L.A. Opera orchestra render Catan's florid score with a palpable vibrancy. A quintet of artful dancers evokes the exuberant, splashing movements of water, while each turn of the ship reveals a new angle and glimpse into the staterooms and lives of the characters. Catan's melodies sometimes turn to sentimental mush, but strong singing by Arturo Chacon-Cruz, Lisette Oropesa, Nancy Fabiola Herrera, Gordon Hawkins, David Pittsinger and Jose Carbo makes this a journey worth taking.
Sat., Nov. 22, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 30, 2 p.m.; Wed., Dec. 10, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 14, 2 p.m.; Thu., Dec. 18, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 20, 7:30 p.m., 2014
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