En Mis Palabras

“I’ll never be free unless I dare to be me.”

An original one-act bilingual opera (English/Spanish), En Mis Palabras/In My Own Words, addresses the universal theme of adolescent development — finding your own voice and learning who you are amid parental expectations and peer influences.

Fifteen-year-old Ana Maria feels stifled by her strict father; he is bewildered by her wish to be herself. Wise Abuela and brother Rodolfo try to help, but it takes a family crisis to bring father and daughter to the beginning of acceptance and understanding.

  • Grades 6-12 and family audiences
  • Performed by 4 singers, pianist and classical guitarist
  • 50 minutes + 10 minute Q&A
  • $750 for one performance
  • Colorado Academic Standards: Music, Reading, Writing and Communicating, World Language, Social Studies, Theater — Resources and related lesson plans available online (English and Spanish) 
  • Available year round — Scholarships available
  • Listen to: En Mis Palabras, Scene 1

En Mis Palabras reached all of our students and covered a lot of issues that were important to our students and their peers.  However, it reached a lot of our Hispanic students because of the social issues the story covered such as having a family with strong male brothers or fathers; but the reality of many of our students is quite the opposite.  Also, our students are recently seeing their culture portrayed in a negative way on TV during the recent immigration debates.  En Mis Palabras reminded these particular students how they are cool and to feel proud they could understand both the English and Spanish narrative in the opera.”

Lee Tomjack

Drama/Reading Teacher, Carmody Middle School (Jefferson County Schools)

Production Information

Current cast members/musicians:
(double-cast listed alphabetically)

Ana Maria: Daniela Guzman-Eguez
Rodolfo: James Baumgardner, Pablo Romero
Esteban: Armando Contreras, Steve Taylor
Abuela: Leslie Remmert-Soich

Pianist: Steven Aguilo-Arbues, Deborah Schmit-Lobis
Guitar: Adam Buer

Production team:

Composer: Roger Ames
Librettist: Jeffrey Gilden
Stage Directors: Anthony “Tony” Garcia (original), Carl Morrow, Emily Murdock
Set Designer: Michael Gorgan
Producer (original): Deb Morrow

Thank you to the Xcel Energy Foundation for their generous support of our Education and Community Engagement programs!