GM Ambassador

My city Valparaíso "Paradise Valley"

On August 11, 2010 while visiting my country on vacation, I got the news that I would be awarded as a cultural ambassador! What a nice surprise! Today I bring the name of my city all over the world as I always did, with love and pride.

Let me tell you something about my beloved Valparaìso.

The ocean air of this wonderful city fed my lungs since I came to this world, so when you hear an opera sung by me, Valparaíso will be present in every note that I do. I walked almost all the 42 hills of this city, visiting friends, going to school, to high school to study and many churches in search of God, not realizing that God lives in us, (if you invite him into your life), or just enjoying the beautiful dreamlike landscapes from hill to hill. As I said, Valparaiso has 42 hills, these hills are filled with houses of thousands colors and an infinite variety of designs and styles. No diversity of standards or rules that guide the natural structure and architecture of this crazy, beautiful and unique city. In some way, when you are in Valparaíso you can feel that this city has a soul of its own.

These 42 hills surrounding the Pacific Ocean give an amphitheater shape of the entire city and as the protagonist on stage we have the sea, illuminated by the moon and stars and decorated with the lighting of the ships, somehow this influenced my life to live on stage. The lights of thousands of houses at night turn my city in an unique jewel. The sailors used to call Valparaiso, the Jewel of the Pacific.

This picture is worth a thousand words, it is the view from my room, when I lived in the house of my father Ruben Monsalve. Imagine this view every night and every morning, with spectacular sunrises and gorgeous sunsets. Sometimes in the morning the clouds were just under my window, I could touch them with my hands. All white, like a carpet of endless cotton and in the background as the sun came out everything became pure gold. I remember those mornings ..

When you come from a place like this, you can not be anything but a Porteño for all your life, doesn't matter where you'll live later, or what kind of work you'll do. Porteño of Valparaíso one is born and that is forever. Valparaíso is part of my life and always will be, because it is part of me.



(With our mayor Jorge Castro Muñoz)

(With our mayor Jorge Castro Muñoz and my dear friend Jorge Coulon)

(With Sergio Vilches, director of my conservatory "Izidor Handler")




This Ode by Pablo Neruda, perfectly transmits the essence of my crazy and beautiful port of Valparaiso.

Ode to Valparaíso
by Pablo Nerudao

what an absurdity
you are,
how crazy:
a crazy port.
What a head
of disheveled
that you never finish
did you have
time to dress yourself,
and always
you were surprised
by life.

Death woke you up,
in your nightshirt,
in your long johns
fringed with colors,
with a name
tattooed on your stomach,
and with a hat.
The earthquake caught you,
and you ran
you broke your fingernails.
The waters and the stones
the sidewalks,
the sea,
the night,
all were shaken.

You slept
on the ground,
from your navigation,
and the furious
lifted its waves
more tempestuous
than a marine gale.


The dust
covered up
your eyes.
The flames
burned your shoes.
The solid houses
of the bankers
like injured whales,
while above,
the houses of the poor
into the void
like imprisoned
who test their wings
and fall to the ground.

you forget
about your tears.
You return
to hanging your dwellings,
to painting doors
and windows
You transform
everything into a boat.
You are
the patched-up prow
of a small
The foamy crown
of the tempest.
Your ropes that sing
and the ocean light
that makes the shirts
and flags tremble
with your indestructible swaying.


you are
from far away.
In the height of the coast
you shine
and soon
you surrender
your hidden fire.
The rocking
of your muffled alleys,
the uninhibitedness
of your movement,
the clarity
of your seamanship.
Here I conclude
this ode,
so little
like a destitute
raggedly in your windows
in the wind
of the ocean,
with all
the sorrows
of your land,
the dew
of the seas, the kiss
of the wide irritable ocean
that with all its strength
beats against your stones.
It couldn’t
knock you down,
because within your southern chest
are tattooed:
and happiness
like anchors
that withstand
the waves of the earth.

Valparaíso is a wonderful, unique and magical place. If you come to Chile, you have to absolutely enjoy this wonder.

My city, Valparaiso was declared on July 2, 2003 as a UNESCO World Heritage
Valparaíso website
UNESCO website