Ah Beatriz, so lovely, so accursed! Raised by a mad father among plants that kill, she has gradually assimilated the poisons. Let her touch you, and you’ll blister. Inhale the air she breathes, and you’ll die. As for detoxifying her, forget it. There, in a nutshell, is the premise for Daniel Catán’s La Hija de Rappaccini, based on the eerily timely allegory of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s longish short story “Rappaccini’s Daughter.”
Nine years ago, the lyric muse visited the Brooklyn Botanic Garden for the first time ever in the form of an inventive production by Gotham Chamber Opera, outdoors in the Cherry Esplanade. Now Chicago Opera Theater follows that lead with a pandemic special filmed at the Field Museum, home to a botanical collection of phenomenal eco-diversity. The show receives its virtual premiere on April 24 and streams for 72 hours.