The highlight of the Washington National Opera’s otherwise cautious last season was Moby-Dick, a 2010 English language opera based on Melville’s moral lesson on the dangers of mixing vengeful obsession with harpoons. This season opens with another newish literary opera, this one loosely inspired by such magical realist novels as Gabriel García Márquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera and One Hundred Years of Solitude: Florencia in the Amazon, written by late Mexican composer (and buddy of WNO’s ex-director Plácido Domingo) Daniel Catán. Given the fantastical elements that any respectable Márquez homage should contain—Catán throws a butterfly hunter, a shapeshifter, and something called the Emerald Muse into a steamship cruise down the Amazon—Florencia is the riskiest production of WNO’s season but, like Moby-Dick, the most likely to pull off something opera audiences have never seen before. Sept. 20–28 at the Kennedy Center Opera House. $25–$300. —Mike Paarlberg