Last night I saw Florencia en el Amazonas. To be frank, it's just an OK opera to me. I didn't really emotionally connect with the music. It was pretty, but there was nothing that made me feel I would confetti into a million bits because it's loveliness mixed with emotions was almost to much.
But there is a moment I want to write about. Near the end of the opera, the ship bearing Florenica and all the other main characters reaches its destination, only to find out that cholera has beat them there. In the stage production we saw, the lights dimmed into a magic hour blue. Out from the wings came people on every side holding lanterns on curved sticks that had lights on the same spectrum of warm orange candlelight. They were all wearing black cloaks and skeleton masks. From same angles, these people looked as if their costumes had been inspired by the Rider-Waite version of the Hermit. And then you saw the masks. The lights dimmed more. The dead became rows. They turned in circles, one hand holding onto their lanterns, the other hand held out as if grasping for a partner who had not yet arrived. Florenica sings of feeling her lover--the one she has come home to seek out--near. The dead surround the boat. Florenica keeps singing. The rest of the stage becomes darker and darker lit. Around Florencia, the lights were purple, green, and yellow. Bright.
It was a moment that despite not feeling most of the rest of the performance, made me so happy to be there, to see this. It was thrilling to see something that felt so much like a dream enacted. It made very little sense. It made so much sense.