Happy news: Pianist raises tenor from despair to major stage

Happy news: Pianist raises tenor from despair to major stage


norman lebrecht

March 08, 2020

Two years ago, the international pianist Gabriela Montero took it upon herself to help a young tenor who lived in fear for his life in the state of chaos that goes by the name Venezuela.

Gabi and her husband Sam McElroy took Luis Magallanes to their home in Dublin and secured him tuition and auditions. Placido Domingo and Tara Eraught willingly lent support.

This weekend, Zurich Opera accepted Luis Magallanes into its studio, where he will work with the world’s leading artists and appear in main-stage productions.

Gabi says: ‘The success and happiness of Luis and his girlfriend, Dayana, should be a reason for pride and joy for all Venezuelans. They symbolize the best of our Venezuela and that’s why it is worth helping and loving them along this difficult path that is life.’



  • Phillipe says:

    That terrible Placido Domingo…

  • John Borstlap says:

    Great story. May it be an example to be followed.

  • SM says:

    Thanks for sharing, SD. Full story here. Hopefully people will enjoy it for what it is – just a beautiful and sometimes challenging intervention with a joyous outcome, thanks to the kindness of so many wonderful strangers and friends alike…


  • David says:

    Here’s another story about a singer helped by Gabriela and her husband

  • Jim smith says:

    Who caused Venezuela’s problems As usual American financial and other sanctions.
    Lift your eyes up from the keyboard occasionally see whats happening in the world.

  • Bernard Caplan says:

    Not only is she a wonderful & inventive pianist but she is also a wonderful human being. Also as borne out on SD her marvelous tribute to the recently deceased Hamish Milne.

  • Adorno says:

    I attended a Montero “piano bash” at QUB Belfast, part of the Belfast Music Society concerts. She played an odd mixture including her own improvisations, in the second part she asked the audience for some themes to doodle on. I gave her a copy of the song Mein Herr Marquis from Die Fledermaus, she thought no one knew and refused. I also suggested the Prelude to Vertigo by Bernard Hermann!

    • Bruce says:

      When she came to Spokane she asked for ideas from the audience. Someone suggested an American folk song I’d never heard, something with “Harvest Moon” in the title. She didn’t know it, but she got the person to sing it to her, then sat down and gave it her full Liszt/Rachmaninoff treatment. It was pretty impressive — as was her Schumann concerto, which earned her the encore in the first place.