|Opera Australia's Aida|
Why do you do the job that you do? Because singing and music have been my passion from when I was five years old!
Who has influenced you most professionally? Many people in different ways and different times of my professional development…I was lucky to be in the Academy for young singers at Teatro alla Scala in Milan and to work with some of the legends of our profession: Luciana Serra, Leyla Gencer, Teresa Berganza, Maestro Riccardo Muti... it was like a candy shop for me.
Is there any other profession that you would have liked to have followed? Many…I’m interested in many things – psychology, make-up artist, interior design...
What is your idea of perfect happiness? Being surrounded by my loved ones with a glass of sweet wine, “passito”, from the magical island of Pantelleria.
If you could have dinner with a historical figure, who would it be? The great Giuseppe Verdi, who besides being one of the greatest opera composers expressed the feelings of the Italian people through his music; the man was a genius!
What is your greatest extravagance? Let’s see…shoes…bags (lots of bags)…jewellery (from fine to costume jewels)…and make up...lots of sparkles always J.
One thing you regret is…that Serbia, my country of origin, was at war.
If you could have any opera character as a friend, who would it be, and why? Carmen. This mysterious woman embodies so many contradictions…she’s simultaneously repellent and sympathetic, lovely and hateful, understandable and irrational. But she is brave and she loves liberty. I love brave and interesting people.
Who or what is the love of your life? If you ask me what, it’s the music of course; if you ask me who, it’s my husband!
You would like to devote more time to…Charity work for less lucky people. Many people lost their homes in this last stupid war in my country; for almost 20 years they’ve been living in communal centres. To help them, I’m organising a humanitarian concert with non profit organisation; I’d like to devote more time to this kind of work especially because I feel so lucky to live in such a fantastic country as Australia!
What is your favourite food? There is too much good food to choose from unfortunately.
What is your most treasured possession? Those that have great emotional value; things that once belonged to my grandmother, or old family photos.
Which is the opera that got you hooked? It was a singer rather than an opera; I saw a mezzo-soprano on TV when I was five; I don’t remember what she was singing but I couldn’t stop trying to make that sound; it was so strong and so profound. That’s how everything started.
Which opera do you never need to hear again? I can’t think of a single one.
If there’s one quote that really speaks to you it’s…Life is either a daring adventure or nothing!
What is your idea of misery? Not to be able to see my family.
Which characteristics do you most admire in others? Honesty. I admire people who are brave to stand up for the truth.
You feel guilty when you think about…Eating pasta!
What type of holiday do you most enjoy? Exploring new cultures.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? Sometimes I get impatient and my feelings burst out…I would like to be able to control them more.
Who is your favourite band? Queen, Evanescence.
You spend too much money on…Make-up – I can’t resist a new shade of eye shadow or a lipstick, not to mention sparkly lip glosses.
Your greatest achievement has been…I feel that I’ve achieved something great every time that magic happens on stage and I sense that the audience is experiencing it.
What is your favourite kitchen appliance? Nespresso coffee machine…it travels with me everywhere.
How do you stay up to date with new technology and trends? It’s impossible not to stay up to date – it’s everywhere around you and it’s great! I don’t know what I would do without Skype. Having said that, I don’t like that anyone can intrude on your privacy, and that life has become so frenetic.
Who is your favourite heart throb…When I was a teenager it was Mel Gibson, back when he was a quirky but a nice guy. I must have had a taste for Australian men from early on, that’s why I married one!
Aida is showing at the Sydney Opera House from 17 July until 13 October: Click here for information, show dates, tickets, videos and more.