The following comes from an April 20 story in Orange County Catholic.

Christ Cathedral will present its Spring Choral Spectacular at Christ Cathedral April 28 at 7:30 p.m. Guest soloist César Antonio Sánchez will sing the beautiful Misa Criolla as one of the featured works of the evening….

César began his musical study as a boy chorister at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Tijuana, Mexico. One day he saw a TV program featuring tenor Placido Domingo. César was only 11 years old and had never heard of Domingo before, but said the sound of his voice was so thrilling and amazing it changed his life.

In his early teen years, César washed dishes and cleaned his family’s small storefront restaurant in Tijuana. Helping his father work, he soon became an excellent cook. Soon patrons began asking for “the kid” to prepare their orders.

“I have never met anyone from such humble surroundings, who has worked so hard to pursue a career. César worked continually in restaurants washing dishes and cooking, fixing cars, painting houses and doing any odd jobs he could find to pay for singing lessons,” says Dr. Thomas Coad, who has served as a mentor to César during his career.

After high school, César won a scholarship to the Escuela Superior de Música Sagrada in Guadalajara, Mexico. This famous liturgical music school left a lasting impression with César of the beautiful music of the Catholic Church.

Still a student in Guadalajara, César entered a singing competition and won first place. The prize money allowed him to buy a round trip ticket to Europe.

He auditioned and was awarded a scholarship to the famous music school, Mozarteum University of Salzburg in Austria. Despite speaking no German when he began, after six months he could converse quite well with students and teachers and was an excellent student….

Longing for home, César returned to Tijuana and San Diego where his parents now live as U.S. citizens. He missed being in the kitchen with family preparing traditional holiday meals. In 2012, he won the Irene Dallas Voice Competition in San Jose, California, and was soon hired to sing leading tenor roles with the Los Angeles Opera’s Education & Community Programs….

In the summer of 2014, César performed at the outdoor Tijuana Opera Festival to a crowd of 14,000. He sang the demanding role of Prince Calaf in Puccini’s Turandot and received a standing ovation when he finished the famous aria “Nessun Dorma….”

César says, “Thanks to my singing, I was fortunate to live in many different places and meet people the world over. The Coad family has been wonderful mentors. Their love of beautiful music and support has given me the opportunity to sing multiple times at Christ Cathedral….”