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A love story, from the Amazon River to the Met

Northwestern faculty bring “Florencia en el Amazonas” to life at New York’s Metropolitan Opera
opera at the met
Mary Zimmerman’s production of “Florencia” focuses on the natural landscape outside of the Amazon riverboat. Kuzmanić’s scarlet ballgown design bring a school of piranhas to elegant life.
opera at the met
Ana Kuzmanićs piranah design calls for a headpiece with flexible connectors between the head and the tail, so that the fish appears to swim as the dancer moves. The performers have full visibility through the mesh visor.
opera at the met
A design meeting to discuss fabric printing techniques for the specialized costume designs. Clockwise from bottom left are Ana Kuzmanić, MFA lighting design student Seojung Jang, Raylene Marasco, CEO of Dyenamix Inc., MFA lighting design student Milo Bue and MFA costume design student Lia Wallfish.

Students in the “Opera at the Met” class traveled to New York’s Metropolitan Opera this fall to attend rehearsals with School of Communication professors Mary Zimmerman and Ana Kuzmanić. The MFA design students were able to observe key milestones during the production process for the Met’s premiere of “Florencia en el Amazonas.”

The opera was director Zimmerman’s sixth Met production and costume designer Kuzmanić’s second.

Using puppetry, costume, and movement, the collaborators brought the teeming flora and fauna of the Amazon to life, immersing audiences in the journey of Florencia, a Brazilian opera singer, who boards a riverboat to search for her lover who has vanished the jungle.

The production opened Nov. 16 and will continue through Dec. 14. The HD broadcast of “Florencia en el Amazonas” will premieres in cinemas worldwide Dec. 9, with an encore broadcast on Dec. 13.

Photos by Ana Kuzmanić and Mary Zimmerman