Opera Philadelphia

El Cimarrón

Music by Hans Werner Henze
Libretto by Hans Magnus Enzensberger
Performed in English
Part of Festival O20

Hans Werner Henze’s political drama recounts the true story of Esteban Montejoa Cuban born into slavery in 1860 who, as a young man, escaped bondage on a 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. 


Bass-baritone Sir Willard White as Montejo is joined on stage by a guitarist, flautist and percussionist – all of whom are called upon to play percussion throughout – bringing the epic story of the runaway slave to life with a visceral intimacy. 


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Opera Philadelphia Channel

Approximately 85 minutes

Cast & Creative Team

Sir Willard White
Sir Willard White * as Esteban Montejo
Hans Werner Henze

The Composer

Hans Werner Henze

Hans Werner Henze was a German composer whose opera, ballets, symphonies, and other works are marked by an individual and advanced style wrought within traditional forms. Learn more

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