Teresa Fernandez was born and raised in Havana, Cuba. Her parents were from Galicia, Spain. Teresa graduated from Havana University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. In 1966, Teresa and her family left Cuba to settle in Madrid, Spain, until 1968, when her husband was transferred to Minneapolis, Minnesota. A year later, they were transferred to Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 1971, they were relocated to San Juan Puerto, Rico, and by 1974, they were transferred to Raleigh, North Carolina which has been home since then.
Teresa worked as a Cost Accounting Manager in electronic manufacturing companies in Raleigh for 26 years until retirement. Singing was in Teresa’s heart since an early age, and eventually, while being a professional of the “numbers”, Teresa began voice training with emphasis in operatic arias and Art songs. She also continued to sing the folkloric music of Spain and Latin America so dear to her. She started singing in the International Festival of the City of Raleigh in a time when only dances were performed to represent Latin America culture.
Teresa’s other performances have been the “ Music and May Flowers” concert with the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra in 2000, the local NBC Christmas 2000 and 2001 programs, and the “Landmarks and Landscapes” workshop at the American Dance Festival at Duke University. In all of these instances, Teresa sang in Spanish for American audiences. Teresa appeared in the role of Mother Abbess in the “Sound of Music”, staged by the Benson Little Theater in 2001. The casting director’s reaction to her accented English was,”Why not a nun with Spanish accent in Austria? They will look and hear you, and they will accept you. They had eight very successful shows.
Teresa enrolled at North Carolina State University, where, among other courses, she took a semester of acting classes which lead her into appearing in various of the plays staged by the University Theater, both as a singer an actress, such as: Black Repertoire Musical “Mama, I want to Sing”, as Madame Anrfelt in the Musical “A Little Night Music”, both in 2002, and as Heidi Schiller in the musical “Follies” in 2004 for which she was invited to participate.
Teresa performed with the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra Chamber Players as a vocal soloist in the 2003, 2004, and 2005 seasons, primarily singing works by the Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla. She drew this comment from art critic Roy C. Dicks, “… Fernandez communicated the emotions with great expressiveness, while exhibiting fine control of high notes and ending dramatically on a held hummed note. For this, she received a rare, mid-performance standing ovation….” “Fernandez sounded like a Latin American Piaff in her richly characterized rendering….”
Teresa sings for patients in the wards of Duke University Hospital as part of the Health Arts Network of Duke ( HAND ). She performs mostly in Spanish to American audiences who respond with great appreciation. Teresa sings at cultural events and private parties around town featuring music from Latin American countries such as Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, Cuba, Peru, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Venezuela. Teresa also sings American show tunes in English at Senior’s centers.