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Perspectives Music

Digital Premiere—El Cimarrón

Sep 14, 2021 AN HOUR

Hans Werner Henze's El Cimarrón is a sonic tour-de-force based on the oral autobiography of Esteban Montejo. Born into enslavement, he escaped bondage on a Cuban sugar plantation, survived in the jungle, fought for Cuban independence from Spain, and lived to tell about it all before dying at the age of 113. Henze's visceral score is a cry for freedom that transcends time and place.

Music by Hans Werner Henze
Libretto by Hans Magnus Enzensberger
Adapted from Miguel Barnet’s Biografía de un Cimarrón, based on interviews with Esteban Montejo;
English translation by W. Nick Hill

AMOC (American Modern Opera Company)
Matthew Aucoin and Zack Winokur, co-founders
Zack Winokur, artistic director
Jennifer Chen, managing director
Cath Brittan, producer

Davóne Tines, bass baritone
Emi Ferguson, flute
Jonny Allen, percussion
Jordan Dodson, guitar (guest artist)

Zack Winokur, director
John Torres, lighting designer
Carlos Soto, costume designer
Cath Brittan, producer
Jennifer Chen, rehearsal assistant

This production, filmed in 2019, features members of the American Modern Opera Company (AMOC) and was curated by Julia Bullock, MetLiveArts 2018–19 Artist in Residence.

The residency was made possible by the Chester Dale Fund and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

This performance was made possible by The Howard & Sarah D. Solomon Foundation, Helen Little, and Emilie Corey, with additional support from Noreen and Kenneth Buckfire.

© 2021 The Metropolitan Museum of Art