On the road to arivaca

An Original Chamber Work of Music-Theatre that takes place on our southern border.

In the desert unintended encounters can open our hearts or pick our bones bare.  

On the Road to Arivaca is a chamber opera featuring four adults and a Children’s Chorus. Based on a true encounter, a “Samaritan” and a “Sojourner” trespass rules of “no engagement” between an undocumented worker and the water-dropping “Samaritan” when they inadvertently meet, and both face difficult moral choices. The opera will put the audience “on the road” in difficult encounters that surround the many issues of immigration, national boundaries, and cross-cultural-and-linguistic engagement. How does one act when one has to decide in a split second on the fate of a fellow human being?  Fully integrated into the piece will be a Children’s Chorus, whose presence will bring audiences face-to-face with the heartbreak of children separated from families and many fleeing danger in their original homelands. The opera is also inspired by the remarkable work of artist Alvaro Enciso and to the thousands of voices lost in the Desert.


The chamber opera is a collaboration by award-winning composer Rosino Serrano from Mexico City and local DC librettist Susan Galbraith. Renowned Director of stage and film José Luis Valenzuela and Conductor Angel Gil Ordoñez joins Alliance for New Music-Theatre and the bi-cultural creative team to mount the world premiere in Washington, DC in 2023.


Internationally known operatic baritone Javier Arrey (The Samaritan) has participated in the development of the work and shared a concert evening of some of the music from the opera hosted by the Mexican Cultural Institute. More recently, Tenor Israel Lozano, Soprano Darcy Monsalve, and Mezzo-Soprano Melisa Bonetti have also participated in an intensive week-long workshop. Check out videos from our July workshop HERE

All members of the collaborative team are working closely with Alliance to secure co-production partners to carry the opera to new venues including Los Angeles, Santa Fe, Mexico City and Tucson, Arizona near where the opera takes place.