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. Watch the video version over on centralcityopera.org/opera-central.
Upper row, left to right: Emily Murdock, Margaret Siegrist. Lower row, left to right: Steven Aguilo-Arbues, Roger Ames.
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! Create Your Own Opera or Music-Theater 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:
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!
Leslie Remmert Soich as Abuela and Jovahnna Anderson Borboa as Ana Maria. Photo by Amanda Tipton
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.
Emily and Steven's dog Millie living her best life on a hike in Colorado
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