Nathan Felix’s Immersive ‘La Malinche: Traitor|Savior’ to Premiere at Albuquerque Museum

By Chris Ruel

Mexican-American composer Nathan Felix will premiere his immersive opera, ”La Malinche: Traitor|Savior,” on July 21 and July 24, 2022, at Albuquerque Museum. The performance is free.

The 25-minute one-act opera relates the story of an enslaved Indigenous girl who became Hernán Cortés’ interpreter and translator. La Malinche played a central role in transactions, negotiations, and conflicts between the Spanish and the Indigenous population of Mexico. As the mother of Cortés’ first-born son, she was both reviled as a traitor and hailed as the progenitor of Mexico.

Known for presenting opera in unique settings, Felix uses space, movement, and acoustics to activate Albuquerque Museum galleries. The musicians will move among the audience. While the audience is encouraged to follow the piece’s narrative by following the soloists, Felix’s work gives attendees agency to roam based on feeling, sight, and soundscape.

Featured soloists include Lucianna Astorga as La Malinche and Madison Marie McIntosh as Hernán Cortés. Additional performers include sopranos Emily Anderson and Hope Willenbrink-Marchesi. Kelsey Rangel conducts.