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On the road to arivaca

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

On the Road to Arivaca is a chamber opera featuring four adults and a Youth 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 Youth 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.


In the desert unintended encounters

can open our hearts

.........or pick our bones bare.

The chamber opera is a collaboration by award-winning composer Rosino Serrano from Mexico City and local DC librettist Susan Galbraith. The work is inspired by a poem of Larry Ortiz, who has worked with the creative team, including introducing the creative team to the Sonoran high desert.


On Oct 13, Alliance for New Music-Theatre had the first showcase performance of selections from its new chamber opera in development – On the Road to Arivaca – sponsored by The European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) as part of a conference on global migration and refugees. Read  more about the performance and this developing work in our November NEWSLETTER.

Coro May 2023 workshop.jpg

We conducted a second workshop on May 1 -5, 2023 and shared selected works from the Opera on May 5.  The Youth Chorus – coro de la comunidad – is an integral part of this project.  Audiences agreed this is a critically important and moving story and the music is hauntingly beautiful.

In its commitment to imbed artistic production in community relationship building, in 2019 Alliance for New Music-Theatre launched an inaugural partnership with GALA Hispanic Theatre and the Mexican Cultural Institute (MCI) in the Greater Washington area to create a youth chorus - coro de la comunidad. Under the direction of Leo Herrera, it has grown in one year, attracting students as young as precocious third graders up through high school and is conducted in weekly after-school classes taught in Spanish and based in the heart of DC’s bilingual (Spanish-English) neighborhood. Students acquire music literacy skills, learn basics of choral singing, and practice repertoire while experiencing the joy making music and making new friends.

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