Opera Philadelphia


El Cimarrón

El Cimarrón

Music by Hans Werner Henze
Libretto by Hans Magnus Enzenberger
Performed in English with English closed captions

In a new film made exclusively for the Opera Philadelphia Channel, Hans Werner Henze’s political drama recounts the true story of Esteban Montejo. A Cuban born into slavery in 1860, Montejo 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 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.

With a creative team comprised of video designer Jorge Cousineau, stage director Raelle Myrick-Hodges, and conductor Stephanie Rhodes Russell, El Cimarrón will bridge the worlds of film, music, and theater to create a unique cinematic adaptation.

MapOpera Philadelphia Channel

The Opera Philadelphia Channel has been made possible by the Disosway Foundation, Inc. and by Wyncote Foundation

Cast & Creative Team

Sir Willard White
Sir Willard White *as Esteban Montejo
  • Jorge Cousineau Co-director
  • Raelle Myrick-Hodges * Co-director
  • Stephanie Rhodes Russell * Music Director
  • *Opera Philadelphia debut
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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