I remember perfectly the day I met L. at my first singing teacher’s home, who is called Pedro Telles. I had already finished my master’s degree, I was on a day off from rehearsals and concerts, and I stopped by Pedro’s for a visit. There I came across a girl, her student, with light brown hair, around 10 years old – I think – and looking shy. Then Pedro hurried to praise her; so usual in him when he is delighted with the evolution of his students. If there is a teacher who vibrates with his students and their achievements, it is him. If there is a dedicated teacher, it is him.

It didn’t take long until he invited me to the next recital that he was going to organize at his house and in which L. would sing. In addition to it, I would have the pleasure of listening to other older students that I already knew.

I remember being enthusiastic about the idea and doing everything to be able to be present. On the recital’s day I arrived just before the scheduled time; cozy atmosphere, not only because of the lights, but because the space resembles a museum of old pieces and is extremely well maintained.

The recital began; happy to be there, this time, on the other side; listening and delighting myself to observe everything, remembering the times when I was his student, little girl, and I was nervous in his recitals. So cute to see others in the position that was most common to me, the one of student-performer.

The came L.’s turn and she sings “Voi che sapete” by Mozart from the opera Le Nozze di Figaro. Suddenly I found myself with wet eyes and a tear flowed shortly afterwards. I travelled in time and found myself at the age of L. – slightly older, since I started with Pedro at the age of 13 – singing precisely that aria; full of dreams, sparkling eyes and without imagining the turns that life would take and that I would become a professional opera singer. And happy because that girl had found Pedro and decided to take her first steps in Singing with him, just like me.

At the end of the beautiful recital, in which all the participants were brilliant, I went to greet shy L. and her parents. Even today I remember the words of the Father:

“Marina, it was through an interview of yours, where you spoke proudly about your teacher Pedro Telles, that we came after him so that L. could start taking classes.”

I could not have been happier realizing that, without knowing it, I had inspired and guided the journey of a 10-year-old girl whose eyes welled up in dreams…

by Marina Pacheco

[Photography: Tales of Light]