On the road to arivaca

A Chamber Work of Music-Theatre

In partnership with local organizations including the Mexican Cultural Institute, we are developing On the Road to Arivaca, which portrays the plight of Central American immigrants forced to escape deadly political and economic systems. Award winning composer Rosino Serrano from Mexico City heads our bi-cultural artistic team plus a Youth Chorus de la Comunidad to humanize the story of unintended encounters on our southern border, and the heartbreak of children separated from families and fleeing danger. The piece will be mounted in Washington DC, Los Angeles, and Mexico City.

We are pleased to announce that our Composer, Rosino Serrano has just been nominated for the Latin Grammy Award for Best Arrangement.


On the Road to Arivaca is envisioned as a chamber opera for four adults, a Youth Chorus de la Comunidad, and two giant puppets in the tradition of Mojigangas, a tradition of Mexican street theater.

Based on a true encounter, two men trespass the rule of “no engagement” between “illegal ” 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 the Children’s Chorus, whose presence will bring audiences face-to-face with the even greater heartbreak of children separated from families and fleeing danger in their original homelands.

The project marks a collaboration involving a Mexican composer, a Mexican-American poet, a Washington DC writer, three DC theater companies, and the Sitar Arts Center, a DC community center in Adams Morgan, will feature a Youth  Chorus de la Comunidad. New Music-Theatre has partnered with IN Series, an opera company with a track record of working with DC’s Hispanic community and, under Artistic Director Tim Nelson’s new leadership, pointedly has committed to re-envisioning radical opera unafraid to tackle difficult issues. Sitar, whose arts programs (serving over 350 families with over 50% LatinX) provide a vital safety net for low-income families during the vulnerable out-of-school-time hours, is joining with us to embark on a two-year pilot program of ongoing workshops and support services to young people that will include the development of the Youth  Chorus de la Comunidad and will offer participants to engage in productions by New Music-Theatre and IN Series companies.

There is no single issue that has become so polarized in our national conversation as that of immigrants and refugees on our southern border. There is no more urgent time than now to respond by critically looking at the long-term scarring of children and the weight of our responsibility as a nation of immigrants to create both sanctuary for the most vulnerable and a more humane process of handling the immigration process.

Our plan is to mount the full production in 2021-2022 season.

Alliance for New Music-Theatre has taken more than four years to travel to the border, research, and hold conversations with diverse groups about how this issue plays out both on both sides of the border and in our nation’s capital. We have seen the situation only grow worse and believe as citizen artists we must develop a response to this crisis and do what we do best, create a vehicle – where drama tells the human story and music breaks open hearts.