Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Central City Opera Podcast

The Central City Opera Podcast introduces you to the movers and shakers of the Central City Opera Festival. Episodes feature interviews with principal and young artists, designers, directors, conductors, and other production staff.  The podcast is hosted and edited by Emily Murdock, Director of Education & Community Engagement at Central City Opera.

Season 7 features the productions of the 2022 Summer Festival: Guettel's THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA, Strauss' DIE FLEDERMAUS, and Heggie's TWO REMAIN. Make sure you're subscribed on your podcast app of choice to get the latest episodes delivered directly to your device.

To find out more about Central City Opera, visit

Oct 21, 2020

This interview is part of a three-episode series featuring our original bilingual opera En Mis Palabras/In My Own Words and exploring equity, diversity and inclusion in the arts. Central City Opera (CCO) commissioned En Mis Palabras more than 15 years ago, with the goal of acknowledging the 1/5 Latino population here in Colorado. The opera tackles themes of immigration, family and coming of age and is performed regularly as a part of Central City Opera’s year-round education and community engagement programming. Over 19,000 people have seen it since its 2006 premiere.  

Today, we discuss the ongoing growth and evolution of the opera’s bilingual text, the idea of enriching story-telling through inclusion of many creative voices and, finally, what En Mis Palabras means to artists and audiences who’ve experienced it. Guests include En Mis Palabras composer Roger Ames, pianist and coach for the production Steven Aguiló-Arbues and CCO Director of Education Emily Murdock with host and CCO Marketing Content Manager Margaret Siegrist 

Settle in for coffee and conversation with us! Text PALABRAS to 20123, and find great deals on over 400 coffees roasted to order and shipped to you by the bag from the nation’s best roasters. A portion of all purchases goes to Central City Opera thanks to our partners at Eat4Art. Cheers!  

Roger Ames co-wrote Music! Words! Opera!a “create and produce” curriculum for Opera America’s textbook series, in the late 1980s with Clifford Brooks. It’s been an important part of Central City Opera’s education and community engagement programs for many years with Roger at the helm. Central City Opera offers Music! Words! Opera! Residencies for students and an annual workshop teaching educators how to bring the program their own classrooms. Learn more on our 2020 fall virtual programming webpage 

Listen to compositions by Roger Ames referenced during this episode: 

  • Excerpts from Roger’s first opera, Amistad, (1977), dealing with the first instance in which slavery became an incident in the United States Supreme Court. Libretto by Virginia Artist and Roger Ames. Commissioned by the Board of Homeland Ministries and awarded a National Endowment for the Arts grant.  
  • Abraham’s Land, a new musical by Roger Ames with book and lyrics by Lauren Goldman Marshall, was scheduled to premiere in 2020 and has been postponed to summer 2021 due to the pandemic. “Set against the backdrop of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict during the time of the First Intifada, and framed by the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, Abraham’s Land tells a story of atonement.” Learn more: 

A note on En Mis Palabras personnel and casting: “Touring artists,” a term you may have heard during the interview, refers to the singers, instrumentalists and production staff who perform as part of our year-round education programs. Most shows, including En Mis Palabras, are cast with multiple artists in each role so that Central City Opera is able to best serve our communities from a scheduling perspective. The artists you’ll meet in these episodes are just a few of the many current and past cast members of the show!  

We’d be remiss if we did not introduce Emily and Steven’s dog, Millie, who made a cameo at the end of the interview. To paint a picture for our podcast audiences, she’s some ambiguous and adorable combination of beagle, basset hound, lab and corgi. 

This episode features musical excerpts from our 2008 archival recording of En Mis Palabras 

Composer, Roger Ames 

Librettist, Jeffrey Gilden  

Ana Maria, Jennifer DeDominici  

Rodolfo, Adam Sattley  

Esteban, Steven Taylor  

Abuela, Leslie Remmert Soich 

Piano, Deborah Schmit-Lobis 

Guitar, Rick Chinisci