I think this opera sheds light on the fact that women have been mistreated for a long time and it is still very relevant today — Emily Anderson
Watch interview with Emily Anderson
An indigenous Aztec woman(nicknamed La Malinche) is enslaved and forced to become the Hernan Cortes’ personal interpreter. She and other enslaved women fight to survive the wrath of Cortes.
One of those slaves was played by 2015 Rio Rancho High School grad, Emily Anderson, in the July 22 and 24 opera, La Malinche (a production by Mexican-American Nathan Felix).
Anderson, who grew up in music with her mom being a music teacher, was hesitant to perform opera at first. Later though, she found out opera wasn’t far off from what she originally wanted to do: musical theater.
“I always assumed that opera was just loud singing but there is more to it than that,” Anderson said.
She had always wanted to be in some kind of music.
Since La Malinche isn’t the typical stage and audience performance, Anderson felt it opened her eyes to other kinds of opera. She felt in touch with the audience because the Albuquerque Museum provided the perfect backdrop for the immersive experience.
The 25 minute-long opera was performed in the vicinity of the La Malinche gallery exhibit. The music bounced off the art and provided the tone and setting for it. The crowd became part of the opera in a sense.
“It is weird acting through a crowd like that,” she said.
Anderson also said she felt connected to the story of La Malinche because as a woman she understood what it was like to be degraded and shunned.
“I think this opera sheds light on the fact that women have been mistreated for a long time and it is still very relevant today,” she said.
Her passion for the story came out in song which wowed the crowd to say the least.
The producer was proud of the performance.
“It was chaotic with the crowd but also inspiring. Everyone did a great job,” Felix said on opening night.
Anderson was applauded by her family and friends. She even got a visit from her Elementary School principal, Cathy Gaarden, who is now retired.
La Malinche has been recognized by many music magazines including Opera Wire, an organization that reviews operas across the nation.