Since Beethoven’s Eroica, politics-as-inspiration for music seems to have taken a steady downhill trajectory. I wouldn’t claim that Hans Werner Henze’s 1970 chamber opera El Cimarrón (“A Recital for Four Musicians”) is the nadir, but I know I’d rather sit through Der Friedenstag than Hans Magnus Enzensberger’s Marxist tripe put to modestly musical plink-plank-plunk again. Lars Kaalund’s production of the first-person account of Cuban runaway slave Esteban and the story of his escape, endurance, and exploits, was apt and budget friendly, with mobile modules for the performers, an empty box, a suspended tree trunk, and a few bed sheets.
H.W.Henze, El Cimarrón ,
N.Isherwood, M.Anderson, M.Caroli, R.Rossi