Video: Director Lileana Blain-Cruz Discusses Latin American Influences in The Met's EL NIÑO

John Adams’s acclaimed opera-oratorio opens April 23, 2024.

By: Apr. 06, 2024
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Director Lileana Blain-Cruz discusses the Latin American artistic influences in her vibrant new production of John Adams’s El Niño.

"If you look at like say the art of Haiti, it is vibrant, it is colorful, it is rich, it is dense, it is multilayered. The same is true with some of the artists that come from the Afro-Carribean parts of Latin America, like there's a density of color and brightness that I think speaks to the intensity and brightness of life," says Blain-Cruz.

Eminent American composer John Adams returns to the Met after a decade-long hiatus for the company premiere of his acclaimed opera-oratorio, which incorporates sacred and secular texts in English, Spanish, and Latin, from biblical times to the present day, in an extraordinarily dramatic retelling of the Nativity. 

El Niño brings together three of contemporary opera’s fiercest champions, all of whom make highly anticipated company debuts: Marin Alsop, one of the great conductors of our time, who has led more than 200 new-music premieres; soprano Julia Bullock, a leading voice on and off stage; and pathbreaking bass-baritone Davóne Tines. Radiant mezzo-sopranos J’Nai Bridges and Daniela Mack take turns completing the principal trio.

The moving, fully-staged new production also marks the Met debut of Lileana Blain-Cruz, resident director at Lincoln Center Theater, who received universal acclaim for her Tony-nominated 2022 production of The Skin of Our Teeth.

Videography by Pete Scalzitti and Neville Braithwaite.


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