by JIM RIDLEY
As Nashville Opera prepares to mount its first Spanish-language production — Daniel Catán'sFlorencia en El Amazonas, running Jan. 23, 25 and 27 at TPAC's Polk Theater — The Arts Company downtown has found a way to place its themes at the epicenter of tomorrow's First Saturday Art Crawl. Tomorrow marks the opening of a related exhibit, coordinated with the Metro Nashville Arts Commission and Conexión Américas, that trains the spotlight on magical realism and the work of Middle Tennessee's Latino artists.
Drawing inspiration from the magic-realist strains in Catán's opera — itself inspired by the work of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, though it's not a direct adaptation — the nine participating artists in the exhibition have incorporated imagery that intertwines the real and the surreal, the prosaic and the fantastic. That's in keeping with the plot line of Florencia, in which a soprano en route to a performance in her native Brazil makes a mythic journey down the Amazon into a realm of river spirits and mystical metamorphoses.
Contributing the 25 selected works are Jorge Arrieta, Orlando Garcia-Camacho, Antuco Chicaiza, Yuri Figueroa, Mandy Peitz, Jairo Prado, veteran Nashville film professional Mike Quinones, Liliana Velez and Jorge Yances.
Opening reception is 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday at The Arts Company, 215 5th Avenue of the Arts N., where the exhibit will remain until Jan. 17. You can RSVP here. But even if you miss those dates, there'll be at least three more chances. The artwork will move on to the lobby space at TPAC for the run of the opera, appear next at the Noah Liff Opera Center, then advance to Casa Azafrán for dates to be announced in April and May.