Davóne Tines is in “El Cimarrón” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Saturday.CreditCreditVincent Tullo for The New York Times
By Zachary Woolfe
Readers, here’s your agenda for this weekend.
If you’re in Boston, get thee to “The Handmaid’s Tale,” playing through Sunday at the Lavietes Pavilion, the very same Boston basketball arena in which Margaret Atwood’s novel was likely set. Doesn’t get much more site-specific than that!
Here in New York, the soprano Julia Bullock is ending her season-long residency at the Met Museum not onstage — rather, on Saturday evening she’s presenting “El Cimarrón,” Hans Werner Henze’s evocative “recital for four musicians” based on the real-life story of a runaway slave in Cuba. Zack Winokur directs the bass-baritone Davóne Tines, the flutist Emi Ferguson, the percussionist Jonny Allen and the guitarist Jordan Dodson.
And tomorrow at noon is the final performance of “Dialogues of the Carmelites” at the Met Opera. (I’ll be there!) Michael Cooper focuses on an indelible scene:
Death in opera tends to be, well, operatic. Mimì expires tragically and almost poetically in “La Bohème,” a defiant Carmen faces her killer bravely and boldly, Brünnhilde selflessly immolates herself to redeem the world in “Götterdämmerung.”
I end up in tears as often as not, but the heightened emotions are usually some distance from real life and death. So it was actually shocking to watch the great Finnish soprano Karita Mattila’s death scene at the Met this week in Poulenc’s “Dialogues des Carmélites,” because it rang so recognizably true.
Writhing almost athletically in her deathbed, as she poured her dramatic soprano into the last words of Madame de Croissy, the convent’s dying prioress. The character’s doubts, rage and, above all, pain were all too real. It’s only a supporting role, but it was the sequence that lingered with me — and it gave weight to the martyrdom of the rest of the nuns at the end of the opera………………