Monday, May 21, 2012

Manaus--May 14-16 & 19-21--Opera in the Amazon

After being on the Amazon for a week, I enjoyed just walking about Manaus to view the various shops and markets along with seeing some of the flooded streets down by the docks. Both before and after my Iguana Tours jungle adventure, I walked about town. I stayed at the Gol Backpackers Hostel which was just a few doors from the Amazona Teatro Opera House where they were planning to perform the Magic Flute by Mozart on the night before I leave Manaus for Ouro Preto.

Flooded Waterfront Entrance

Mercado Renovation Partially Flooded

View of Opera House from the Taj Mahal--In Manaus, not India

Opera House is viewed from the Plaza with the wavy black and white paving that symbolizes the "Mixing of the Waters" which is also found throughout Brazil including Ipanema Beach walkway in Rio.

More flooding near Maritz Plaza

Unloading the Banana Boats with each stalk selling wholesale from 5 to 20 BRs or about $2.50 to $10.
The day after our return from the Amazon I had walked about town with Katy from the UK who was on the jungle tour along with Colim from New York. They had transformed one of the busy commercial shopping streets into a Sunday Market where they were selling almost everything from these little 5 by five shops as well as food stalls. I stopped for an egg sandwich and a coffee since our Gol Hostel breakfast was so pitiful.

Shortly after returning to the Gol Hostel the rains came down and it looked like the night's Opera would be endangered. This is a view up toward the Opera House area Just a few steps from our hostel.

 

But as the day proceeded, the rains disappeared, and the crowds began filling up the thousands of seats---some did carry umbrellas though. At 7PM, The Magic Flute began with the orchestra performing inside the Teatro Amazona. Here is a clip where the heroine is negotiating for the return of her beloved with the queen of darkness. Many of the scenes and characters invoked an Amazon motif. I thoroughly enjoyed it as did most of the families around me. Imagine this Opera in the heart of the Amazon at a building built by the wealth of the rubber barons.

 

The following day I took care of a number of tasks such as getting a picture of the Pineapple plantation home surrounded by the highest flood in memory as requested by the homeowner, a haircut, exchanging some of my cash, and figuring out when and where to take the airport bus.

When I got to the airport, I was pleased to see that the Danish couple, Jacob and Selena, I had met on the Iguana Tour, were there waiting for the flight they had booked with Jerry's help and my delivery service to the Iguana Office in Manaus while they were still on the jungle tour.

As I left Manaus, I took this picture of the flooded Amazon from the air.

On to Belo Horizonte for an overnight in a fleabag hotel near the bus station with an early 2 hour bus ride to Ouro Preto the following morning.

 

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