“I was born in the capital of Mexico. My family moved to a remote village when I was 2 months old. My entire childhood, I grew up liking music. So I studied singing in university and also learned to play some musical instruments. Before coming to Bhutan, I was teaching music and also singing in an opera ensemble. The opportunity to visit Bhutan came after an old colleague who taught in a music school in Thimphu returned home, leaving the post vacant. 2 months after interviewing for the job I found myself on a journey halfway across the world. I feel lucky to have come here and have this unique experience of living in a country that resembles a fairytale kingdom. Bhutan has one of the most beautiful landscapes with clean air and water, and some of the kindest people.

I sing Soprano which in plain terms means that I am a female opera singer. My favourite opera is the Madam Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini, which is set in Japan. There are many distinctions for opera based on gender and voice ranges of the singers. Soprano is the highest voice range for a classical female singer. For the male voice range, it’s a tenor. Classical singing takes years of training and only few in the world find mainstream success. It must have been even harder in the past because an opera singer’s voice would have had to fill the whole theatre without a microphone. Everywhere in the world now classical forms of music are disappearing slowly as pop music has become the mainstream genre for many.

Currently, I give piano lessons in Thimphu and also vocal technique lessons to a few students. So far, no one has expressed interest in learning opera. Bhutan has a different culture from where I grew up and music also has an entirely different rhythm. Bhutanese people are wonderful music learners with keen listening skills but most people here only learn music as a hobby. Music can be a full term career that also pays well if it is pursued with passion, discipline and years of training.

Although I am leaving soon, I would always visit again if given a chance. Somehow, one can never get enough of a place like Bhutan.”

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