I was very young, and I was called from the Vienna Opera House to do Le nozze di Figaro, with Karajan. And there were all the greats of their time: Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Fischer-Dieskau… all the greatest. And I arrived there, from my little street, San Isidro… very well- dressed, very cute… and arrived, and sang with of all of them.

So I went to the rehearsal. Karajan, very well, but one moment after.. he said: ‘Ah, musically, this isn’t right’.
And he say that to me in a hard way, and I had, -I think in my unconsciousness, because it was an unconsciousness to say it- : ‘Maestro, you can tell me you don´t like my voice, that you don’t like how I sing, that I am obnoxious, but that I am not a musician? More than you and everybody in here’.
I spent ten years without sing with him.

I sing, I had plenty success, and ten years later he showed up, hugging me, saying to me: Berganzina, carissima… we’re doing this marvelous Marriage in the Salzburg Festival, and you have to be there with me.

He made something incredible when I sung my Voi Che Sapete. The orchestra played, I could hear them, he led them, and in the moment I started to sing Voi Che Sapete, the maestro make like this (gesture of remain still), close his eyes and cease to conduct. The orchestra was playing pianissimo, pianissimo… I sung with my ears well open to be able to hear and I said to myself: ‘Is this man taking revenge on me?’
And ‘cause I always say what I feel, at the end of the performance I went to him and say: ‘Maestro, why you didn’t led me? Is that perhaps you don’t want to conduct me?’

And the maestro Karajan, the great, said to me:
‘I also have the right to be happy, to listen to you with my eyes closed.’

Teresa Berganza