The Substitute Singer

Though I was unable to prove the events of this tale, this event supposedly happened many years ago in the Paris Opera. On the night when a famous tenor was to perform, the packed house was told he would not be able to attend due to traffic.
Concerned, the director of the Opera appeared on the stage to explain what was happening and to ask for a local tenor to act as a substitute.
The audience reacted as expected; with discomfort. Some spectators rose and asked for their money back, while others simply waited to see what lay in store for them, seeing that they had instructed their chauffeurs and made reservations for dinner, and did not quite know how to kill the time.

The substitute tenor came on stage and did the best he could. For two hours he sang with all his heart and soul. At the end, there was almost complete silence.
Then one spectator applauded, and a child’s voice was heard, “Daddy, you’re great! Just great!”

The next moment, the whole theater gave a standing ovation; a simple word of love had changed everything.


O cantor substituto

Aconteceu há muitos anos na í“pera de Paris (ní£o pude comprovar se é verdade). Os ingressos estavam todos esgotados para a apresentaí§í£o de um famoso tenor, mas no dia marcado, já com a casa repleta, descobriu-se que um problema de transporte iria impedir que ele chegasse a tempo.
Desconcertado, o diretor da í“pera subiu ao palco, explicou o que estava acontecendo, e pediu que um tenor local o substituí­sse.
A audiíªncia reagiu como era de se esperar; desconforto, alguns expectadores se levantando para pedir o dinheiro de volta, e outros simplesmente aguardando o que estava por vir, já que tinham marcado seus choferes e seus jantares para determinada hora, e ní£o sabiam exatamente como passar o tempo.

O tenor substituto subiu ao palco e fez o melhor que podia. Durante duas horas, cantou com sua alma e seu coraí§í£o. No final, um silíªncio quase completo – porque ní£o era exatamente ele que esperavam escutar.

Apenas um espectador aplaudia. E ouviu-se sua voz infantil:
– Papai, vocíª é genial! Vocíª é genial!

No momento seguinte, todo o teatro ovacionava de pé o espetáculo; uma simples palavra de amor havia mudado tudo.


El cantante sustituto

Sucedió hace muchos años en la í“pera de Parí­s (no pude comprobar si es verdad). Las entradas para escuchar a un famoso tenor estaban agotadas, pero justo el dí­a de la actuación, y con la casa ya repleta, se supo que un problema de transporte le impedirí­a al cantante llegar a tiempo.
Desconcertado, el director de la í“pera subió al escenario, explicó lo que estaba ocurriendo, y pidió que un tenor local lo sustituyese.
El público reaccionó como era de esperar: tensión, algunos espectadores levantándose para pedir la devolución del dinero, y otros simplemente aguardando lo que iba a ocurrir, puesto que tení­an hora para que los recogiesen sus chóferes y para cenar más tarde, y no sabí­an a qué dedicar su tiempo hasta entonces.

El tenor sustituto subió al escenario e hizo lo mejor que pudo. Durante dos horas, cantó con toda su alma y todo su corazón. Al final, se hizo un silencio casi perfecto: y es que no era a él a quien esperaban escuchar.
Apenas un espectador aplaudí­a. Y en un determinado momento, pudo oí­rse su voz infantil:

-¡Papá! ¡Has estado genial! ¡Genial!

Al momento siguiente, todo el teatro ovacionaba en pie, celebrando el espectáculo. Una simple palabra de amor le habí­a dado la vuelta a todo.


  1. AME CARBAJO says:

    Siempre me es grato leer a Pablo Coelho.En momentos de tormenta a mi alrededor sus palabras son edificantes y el miedo y la incertidumbre se van….desaparece……Gracias Pablo Coelho

  2. faye says:

    …wow.. i suddenly got teary-eyed when i reached the last part.. beautiful story! you do have a way of touching our hearts. you’ll always be my fave author. ;)

  3. Jane says:

    Yesterday, Spain won the World Cup Soccer.
    These colors remind me of Spain.

    And I just read the beautiful lyrics for Eviva Espana.
    Watched the videos that you posted Paulo. The second one, with the crowd in the stadium singing together and it was very touching. So much love!

    Love to All,
    Jane xo

  4. thameem says:

    for a moment….somekind of emotion just glimpsed or ran through my heart,,,i dont know what…..but for sure ,,it had en effect on me…..

  5. Daisy Lark says:

    There is opinion & there is attitude. And opinion depends on attitude, not the other way round. Thanks for the lovely story!

  6. lorena says:

    Muy hermoso el amor cura nuestro corazón… gracias.

  7. sanny says:

    Thanks, reminds me that no matter how little, sincere words will touch hearts.

  8. Vijayravin says:

    Very heart rendering, yet very inspirational! A word of appreciation, however short or wherever it may come from, is absolutely motivating!!

  9. sneha says:

    while reading this i want to pay my gratitude to my family who inspite of everything have always done their best,and even what ever i thought was not right,thery did it with best intentions ,with the best they knew at that time…thank you mom,dad,bhaiya,darshan,varun,sheena and atma:) love you guys a lot!!!

  10. Sameere says:

    That’s the strength you get from your near and dear ones, they will stand shoulder to shoulder with you during your toughest time and change the entire scenario in your favor

    take very good care of them,they are the most precious gift of God!

  11. çigarra says:

    It makes me cry!
    because I remember something to similar in my life…at the end of a show in teatre in Bologna, after a very hard day, a man sitted down at last… applause me and he getting up and he say: bravaaaa…I ear the voice of my father but my father was already died…

    1. Ericka says:

      Always remember that the real love never dies and will stay whit us forever……………Don’t cry, make him pruod.

      Ps. I didn’t had the pleasure to know hin

  12. Nida Shahid says:

    This was just beautiful. However short, just brought tears to my eyes. Beautiful.

  13. viviana says:

    El amor nos hace vivir…sin amor nada soy…

  14. Jane says:

    Beautiful story, thankyou Paulo. I believe that love can change lives for the better! (and applauding too) Jane xo

    “Love is a fruit in season at all times and within the reach of every hand. Anyone may gather it and no limit is set. Everyone can reach this love through meditation, prayer, sacrifice and an intense inner life.”
    – Mother Teresa

  15. Irina Black says:

    How to light the star.

  16. eleonora says:

    Carissimo Paulo,che bella storia….Dovremmo abituarci all’ascolto senza preconcetto…ti voglio bene….ciaoooo

  17. Dave C says:

    Not that it matters if the story actually happend or not, it is a great example of how small things can make a big difference. A simple word of Love in almost any situation can become the exact inspiration, encouragement, support, that someone may just be awaiting; and often is. It has been for me, although most of the time I don’t realize until later. Is this the involvement of Angels? Or Warriors in disguise?

  18. Enpie says:

    Fe, esperanza, gnosis y amor.

    Haya voy, no desisto, una estapa más, quedo atras un largo y tortuoso camino, no me rindo, solo estoy en otro sitio.

    Saludos, un abrazo, sigo con mi sueño aunque me pase menos por el ciber. Un abrazo a todos, hasta pronto.

  19. S.Ali says:

    If you never answered me, I never feel that way,
    Paulo, have you ever felt the arrow that comes and goes through your heart?
    Have you ever seen that in your loves heart and you can do nohing but look?, When you’re on air with a freez pledge from your life guide! Pain is all I feel. I’m empty, I also know the importance of these foolnes words to you.
    If you never answered me, I never feel that way, but you did it. I’m afraid if this stay forever by a very natural event. You give me some word. Paulo Coelho, be you words like always.

  20. mindy says:

    gave me chills and brought tears to my eyes :*)

  21. Florence says:

    What a wonderful story !!! :)

  22. Thank you for this inspiring story.

    We are nothing without love. We know from our own experience how love can change our world! In realising this, I think we should try our best to bring love to the lives of others. We don’t need to be rich or famous, but by a simple word or gesture, it is surprising how many times in each day, we can touch the lives of others. It could be a loved one, a neighbour, a colleague at work, a Facebook friend or the person we meet in the street.All these people need our love. With just a little effort, we can bring love and joy to these people, and really make a difference in the world, as they will in turn pass this love on to others, similar to the “ripple effect”!

    Wishing Love and Peace to you all.

  23. Marie Luz says:

    el amor mueve al mundo…..todo se transforma a travez del amor.

  24. Mari Raphael says:


  25. THELMA says:


    “Let the children come to me…..”

    We have to be ‘open’, unprejudiced and ready to appreciate every human effort..
    Critics are those who are jealous.
    People who cannot show love, enthusiasm and affection are those who are/ were deprived from these same feelings.. Generosity is an element of a noble person and a heart full of LOVE.
    Thelma xxx

  26. cris says:

    muy lindo,,me emocioné……..muy especial…

  27. Mate Flores says:

    warm caring heart it is what everybody need to see the light!

  28. Tania says: