First Spanish Opera to be Presented in Nashville 

Limited Engagement: January 3-17, 2015

Sponsored by the Metro Nashville Arts Commission and Nashville Opera, in collaboration with The Arts Company and Casa Azafran

In January 2015, The Arts Company partners in art with the Nashville Opera to present a visual art exhibition as a preview for Florencia en el Amazonas, the first opera in Spanish to be presented in Nashville.  The opera, by Daniel Catán, is a voyage down the Amazon River toward an unexplored jungle paradise that dares to venture deep into the mysteries of the human heart. The audience will take a journey of discovery through the sensual world of magical realism, overflowing with a vibrant orchestral score inspired by the romanticism of Puccini and Debussy. In a limited-engagement exhibition opening during The First Saturday Art Crawl Downtown on January 3 — featured artists will develop new artwork using the concept of magical realism and incorporating their experience as part of the Latino community in Nashville.   

The exhibit will open during First Saturday Art Crawl Downtown on January 3, 6PM-9PM, and be on view during regular gallery hours, 11:00AM-5:00PM, Tuesday through Saturday, through January 17, at 215 5th Avenue of the Arts in downtown Nashville.  The artwork will then be presented during the opera’s run in the lobby spaces at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, January 23, 25, & 27; continuing at the Noah Liff Opera Center, and complete its run in April and May at Casa Azafran… dates to be announced.  The exhibition is supported through a Metro Nashville Arts Commission grant to the Nashville Opera, and presented in cooperation with  Conexión Américas and The Arts Company. 

©Liliana Velez

©Liliana Velez

About the preview exhibition:

Florencia in El Amazones, an opera written in Spanish, is new to Nashville Opera.  The contemporary production uses special lighting and staging to enhance the theme of magical realism, associated with great Latin American literature.  Another added attraction is a special art exhibition of original artwork created by Nashville Hispanic artists curated and presented by The Arts Company.  

Quotes about the exhibition:

It is not just our pleasure to be involved with this beautiful opera but also our perspective that art has the power to connect people and reflect cultural significance,” says Renata Soto, executive director of Conexión Américas. “These artists and their take on magical realism does this. We are incredibly honored to share this art with our families at Casa Azafrán. We imagine that in May our gallery space will be filled with people who are dazzled by visual art and an opportunity to see how our collective stories are transformed into works of art.
— Renata Soto, executive director of Conexión Américas.
It is a privilege to help discover and present artists in the Nashville Hispanic community,” remarks Anne Brown, owner of The Arts Company. “Especially to work directly with the Nashville Opera and Conexión Américas, tying the artwork to the theme and style of an opera written in Spanish, as well as to the personal experiences of Hispanic artists living and working in the Nashville area.. The resulting exhibition will be open to the public, debuting during First Saturday Art Crawl Downtown in January 2015.
— Anne Brown, owner of The Arts Company
My Hispanic roots flow deep inside my creativity – beautiful and dangerous like a river meandering through the jungle. Vibrant shades of red, blue and orange saturate my work, dancing with shadows below. This Kansas girl is thrilled to be part of a show where I can exhibit the fantastic and magical scenes that permeate my mind.
— Mandy Peitz, participating artist
I am excited and honored to be involved in a project that exhibits the style of Colombia’s most prolific author. I am equally as excited to meet and display my works alongside some truly remarkable artists of Hispanic heritage.
— Liliana Velez, participating artist
The literary world has been moving hand in hand with the arts thru centuries and this is a unique opportunity for Nashville and Tennessee to see how two branches of the artistic domain interpret the work of one of the most important modern writers in the Spanish language, and Nobel Prize of Literature Gabriel Garcia Marquez. As an artist, it is an honor to be part of this project to show and promote my ideas in reference to the Magic Realism as I reenter its roots in the plastic arts.
— Orlando Garcia, participating artist

About the Opera: Florencia en el Amazonas

Florencia en el Amazonas, by Daniel Catán and inspired by the writings of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, is this ravishingly beautiful romantic opera in an examination of love in all of its joys and folly.  In 1910, seven people board a small steamboat for a voyage down the Amazon River toward an unexplored jungle paradise.  But soon the characters find themselves on a surreal journey that dares to venture deep into the mysteries of the human heart.  Among all the passengers, Florencia seeks the most desperate love of all:  Lost love. A true love she long ago let slip through her fingers, and now vows to find again.  Join us as we take a voyage into the sensual world of “magic realism”, overflowing with a vibrant orchestral score inspired by the lush romanticism of Puccini and Ravel, and featuring a poignant story that will touch your heart and make your soul soar like an emerald jungle butterfly amid the foliage of the tropical rain forest.  The opera is sung in Spanish with easy-to-read projected English supertitles. For more information about Florencia en el Amazonas, visit: 

About Nashville Opera:

Nashville Opera, Tennessee’s largest professional opera company, is dedicated to creating legendary productions and programs. Among the most successful regional companies in the United States of America, Nashville Opera has presented three different world premiere operas since its inception in 1981. Main stage performances are presented at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center and the Noah Liff Opera Center, playing to over 13,000 people annually. Nashville Opera’s extensive education and outreach touring program reaches over 25,000 students throughout Middle Tennessee. These projects are supported by grants from the Metro Nashville Arts Commission, the Tennessee Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Judy and Noah Liff Foundation, the Nashville Opera Guild, and many other corporate and individual supporters. 


Conexión Américas assists more than 2,500 Latino families each year through programs that focus on social, economic and civic integration - all created to empower Latinos in Tennessee to achieve their own American Dream. More information at:


The First Saturday Art Crawl Downtown, presented by 5th Avenue of the Arts, is a monthly visual arts event in the historic arts and entertainment center of downtown Nashville.  On the First Saturday of every month, an alliance of art galleries and museums collectively invite the public to explore the vibrant Nashville downtown art scene. Admission free, the event welcomes approximately 2,000 attendees each month, bringing more attention and recognition to this energetic destination for visual arts.