HOUSTON, Texas -- Albert Garcia grew up in the small South Texas town of Beeville singing in his church choir. The little boy would grow up and into a giant voice. A voice with operatic beauty.
Albert moved to Houston in 2021 to try out for the Houston Grand Opera. He made it and received a contact to continue his dream. Around Christmas of that year Garcia's life took a huge turn though. He was having trouble walking, a doctor's visit would discover spinal damage that required surgery. A surgery very close to the vocal cords. Albert would suffer vocal cord paralysis. He thought his life as an opera singer was over.
"It was devastating because singing was my passion, my identity," Albert admits, he didn't know if he'd ever get better.
He teamed up with Dr. Marina-Elvira Papangelou at TIRR Memorial Hermann in Houston. It was then that Albert saw a glimmer of hope, things started to get consistent, "I noticed changes that gave me extra fire to keep going."
Dr. Marina saw the changes as well, "I was very happy, he was opening up, seeing hope, working even harder."
At the end of 2022, Albert's friends coaxed him into doing some karaoke. He realized his voice was coming back. In April of 2023 Albert sang in his first competition since his surgery. He's been invited to try out for Houston Grand Opera again in the Fall of 2023. That's on hold for now Albert is currently finishing up his MBA in Music Business but he plans to audition in Spring of 2024.
As for his work with Dr. Marina it was life changing for both. To say thank you, Albert sang Dr. Marina a song. A song with special meaning, For Good from the musical Wicked. Albert says it was perfect, at that point in the play the two main characters are parting ways, but they thank each other for the changes in their lives.
Dr. Marina adds, "I was very emotional because he chose a song that let me know I had helped him change for good in his voice and his life."