Nathan Pacheco is living out multiple dreams.
He's singing on tour with Yanni.
He gets to travel the world.
And he gets to make use of his fluency in Italian, Portuguese and Spanish as he writes lyrics for incredibly beautiful music.
"It's incredibly thrilling. I feel very fortunate," Pacheco said. "It's definitely a dream coming true for me. For at least 10 years, I've imagined myself traveling around and performing. I did an operatic stint in Italy and I remember thinking, 'I've got to do this.' "
Pacheco said he actually heard a speaker at BYU challenge his audience to chase their dreams as he was preparing to attend the Manhattan School of Music. He called the school and told them he had decided not to come but instead went to Los Angeles to pursue a performance career. There he met Ric Wake who introduced him to Yanni.
He went from there to writing words for Yanni's "Almost a Whisper" and "Adagio" in 2006. In 2007, he wrote lyrics for Yanni's "Tribute" song, something he prizes.
"I really love singing the song "Tribute" because he (Yanni) performed it as a tribute to humanity and about the fact that if we simply channel our efforts, there isn't anything we cannot do."
That led to being in the right place at the right time when Yanni and Wake decided to launch a search for the perfect voices to sing Yanni's music.
"The stars aligned," said Pacheco. "The surge of creativity that came along at just the right time, the timing, it all worked."
Now Pacheco, a returned LDS missionary and 2005 BYU graduate in vocal performance, is one of four "Voices" on Yanni's current tour, introducing vocals to what has up to this point been strictly instrumental music.
He, along with Chloe Lowery, Ender Thomas and Leslie Mills, are trying to win over die-hard traditional Yanni fans and woo new ones.
It seems to be working, Pacheco reported.
New York's Radio City Music Hall was sold out. Chicago, too.
And the run of the tour may be extended to include Latin America, Mexico and Asia.
"There's been a very positive response. It's been a real adventure. It's been great to see, but we're taking it one step at a time," Pacheco said.
Pacheco is a Washington, D.C., native who came to BYU after hearing vocal teacher Larry Vincent conduct a voice workshop.
On June 17, he will perform before "one of his home crowds" when he sings in Salt Lake City. "I have a lot of friends here."
Performing with Yanni has been demanding as well as exhilarating, Pacheco said. "He's a perfectionist, so it can be challenging because he expects so much. He will let you know when you make a mistake and he'll expect you to correct it but he's very positive in what he does. He's a great mentor."
Pacheco said one night in Mexico something had happened to upset him just prior to a show. Yanni noticed his demeanor and called him into his dressing room where he looked in his eyes and said, "You are Nathan Pacheco. There is no one like you. Now go out there and sing your heart out!"
If you go ...
Where: EnergySolutions Arena, 301 S. West Temple
When: June 17
How much: $37-$77