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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.

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SHOW NOTES: Season 5, Episode 9 - Ana Luna Uribe, Lisa Young and Teila Theisen

Apr 30, 2021

Opera Central and the Central City Opera Podcast proudly host the heads of two leading equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility (EDIA) organizations in Colorado: IDEA Stages Founder Lisa Young and Alliance for Music Education Equity Director Ana Luna Uribe. They talk with CCO Audience Development Manager Teila Theisen about their goals for our local arts community, “working out” or “exercising” inclusivity, the importance of stepping outside your bubble and much more.


Ana Luna Uribe-Leteinturier







Ana Luna is a French-Colombian violinist, born and raised in the United States. She is currently based in Denver and is an avid performer, teacher and arts administrator. As a multi-faceted performer, Ana Luna is currently experimenting with arranging, electronic music and loop pedaling. Interested in serving her community through the arts, Ana Luna is currently the Director of the Alliance for Music Education Equity and the Site Coordinator at El Sistema Colorado.

Ms. Uribe has also been an active part of the Next Festival of Emerging Artists in New York City since March of 2020. One of her main focuses is new music and collaboration and she has worked to bring new works to life with composers such as Lisa Bielawa, Ryan Lindveit, Samantha Wolf, Andrew Dewey and Sergio Herrera, among others.

As an orchestral player, she has appeared with the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra, the Sinfonia Gulf Coast Orchestra, the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra and the Boulder Symphony. Recent festivals attended include the Domaine Forget Academy in Quebec, the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, NC and a Violin Fellowship at the Texas Music Festival in Houston, TX. She has performed under the batons of great conductors such as Brett Mitchell, Yoav Talmi, Andres Franco, Gerard Schwartz and Ari Pelto.

As a chamber musician, she has played with groups at the Domaine Forget Academy, the Texas Music Festival, the Eastern Music Festival, the Florida State University and the Lamont School of Music. She has studied under artists such as Neal Carey, Basil Vendryes, Shannon Thomas, Elizabeth Phelps and Qing Li. Most notably, in 2014, she was chosen as the second violinist for the Miami Music Project String Quintet. The group travelled to Paris, France to bring the works of Cuban, Haitian and Brazilian composers to the International St. Denis Festival. Her string quartet was also given an honorable mention for their performance of the Barber String Quartet at the 2020 Lamont Chamber Music Honors competition.

Ms. Uribe holds a Bachelor’s degree in Violin Performance from the Florida State University’s College of Music where she studied with Corinne Stillwell as well as a Master's degree in Violin Performance from the University of Denver's Lamont School of Music where she served as teaching assistant to Linda Wang and Igor PIkayzen.

Lisa Young

Lisa Young is an actor-vist, director, singer, teaching artist and founder of IDEA Stages, a grassroots movement for theatre that uses the philosophy we are all accountable for inclusion, diversity, equity and access in the arts. She has served on the Colorado Theatre Guild Board since 2013 and 30+ years in community and professional theatre. In addition, Lisa is a drama-teaching artist at Boston P-8 in Aurora Colorado.

IDEA Stages’ Story & Purpose: IDEAs was founded by actor-vist Lisa Young, (a Black Woman who is a stroke survivor), in May 2020 after the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and countless other Black people. In 2020, as we considered the impact of COVID-19, and the mobilization and out-cry for justice from people supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, we also asked ourselves "What are we prepared to do to dismantle racism, anti-Blackness and inequalities in theatre?"

IDEAs is a grassroots outreach organization providing activism, resources, and accountability for the work of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access (DEIA) in theaters to our members. We serve our membership of individuals, companies, and communities by granting IDEAs designations to organizations which fulfill guiding principles - called Pillars of Inclusion - within their policy and infrastructure. We are Change Agents, who are making demonstrable advancements, real and effective.

Teila Theisen

Teila Theisen joined the Central City Opera as Audience Development Manager, the newest member of the Marketing and Communications team, in 2020. Teila has an extensive background in performing arts and began studying dance, opera and choral music at age seven. She has a bachelors in fine arts, cum laude, from Northern Illinois University and has been working in the nonprofit sector for nearly ten years. Teila is a three-time AmeriCorps Alum, a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer from The Gambia, West Africa and has worked with several national nonprofits, including Girl Scouts and The Boys & Girls Clubs. Teila has a passion for diversity, equity and inclusion work, community development, travel and music. She is very much looking forward to working with the entire Central City Opera team to create unique and memorable experiences throughout Colorado!


EDI or EDIA and IDEA are acronyms for inclusivity, diversity, equity and accessibility.

Diversity is presence of difference within a given setting. In this case the workplace is the setting, and the differences typically refer to identity like race and gender and sometimes ethnicity, religion, nationality or sexual orientation. A person isn’t diverse. They’re unique. They can bring diversity to a group though. You’re not looking for a diverse candidate. Diversity is about a collective or a group."

Inclusion has to do with people with different identities feeling and/or being valued, leveraged and welcomed within a given setting (whether that’s a team, workplace or industry). Longtime diversity, equity and inclusion educator, Verna Myers, said: 'Diversity is being asked to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.' Inclusion isn’t a natural consequence of diversity. You can have a diverse team of talent, but that doesn’t mean they feel welcomed or valued or are given opportunities to grow.

Equity is an approach that ensures everyone has access to the same opportunities. Equity recognizes that we don’t all start from the same place because advantages and barriers exist. It’s a process that acknowledges uneven starting places and seeks to correct the imbalance. Diversity and inclusion are both outcomes. Equity is not. It refers to the process an organization engages in to ensure that people with marginalized identities have the opportunity to grow, contribute, and develop.

Access/Accessibility is giving equitable access to everyone along the continuum of human ability and experience. Accessibility encompasses the broader meanings of compliance and refers to how organizations make space for the characteristics that each person brings. The definition of accessibility is broadening beyond public accommodations and job opportunities. It’s not just about the physical environment: it’s about access to and representation in content for all.

Read more: and

This interview was recorded on the heels of anti-Asian shootings in Atlanta, April 2021:

Further reading:



Central City Opera’s staff shared a public statement and commitment fall 2020:

Lisa and Ana introduced themselves using physical descriptions to help audience members with limited sight access this conversation. They also stated their preferred pronouns, which helps create a safe space for gender inclusion. Finally, the speakers shared acknowledgements of indigenous land on which they live and work.

Learn more about pronouns:

Learn more about land acknowledgements:


  • Ana: “White bodies live with trauma of white supremacy too”
  • Lisa: “(IDEA) doesn’t just take three months”
  • Lisa: Comparing working on IDEA to physical exercise: “If you’re not uncomfortable, you’re not working out!” “Anti-racism hurts (in a good way)”

Lisa talks about influential and decorated author Dr. Ibram X Kendi. Learn more about him at

OPERA America offers a great list of Industry Resources covering IDEA work in opera, grants, story-telling, innovations and databases of opera repertoire modern and historical:

Lisa talks about Phamaly Theater Company, “A creative home for theatre artists with disabilities.” Learn more at