The Traveling Performer’s Life: Maria Luigia Borsi

Atlanta Opera: How do you balance getting into
character in each production while making yourself comfortable in a new city?
Maria Luigia Borsi: In general, I can say that I am a
person that has trouble dealing with change, maybe because I come from a
country where there are unchanged monuments and traditions that have been
around for thousands of years. On the other hand, the life I live
is a non-stop adventure, full of new people, new places and different languages. I have to admit, it’s not always easy to integrate myself into new
situations. Basically, I can sum this up by saying, you can take the country
girl out of the country but nobody can take the country out of the country girl
The characters that I interpret
cannot have jet lag. Theatre, anywhere in the world, is a sacred place,
magical and timeless; where everything takes shape and life in a natural way. Fundamentally, it’s the characters
themselves that help make me feel more comfortable wherever I am.

One would imagine that constant travel could strain your voice, as well as your
mental and physical fortitude. Any thoughts on keeping in good health on the

The voice is a very delicate
instrument, it is affected by many factors: weather changes, jet lag, mood
swings, hormonal factors and personal problems. I try to have a healthy lifestyle:
eating well, a bit of physical activity, sleep well…but it isn’t as simple as
it seems because a singer’s life is irregular and full of adrenaline. The first thing I do in the
morning is drink fresh squeezed lemon juice (no sugar), it’ s a natural
antibiotic. I normally drink a lot of water and I often have propolis caramel
in my mouth in order to humidify and pamper my instrument. In my opinion, it’s important to
try to be in contact with the needs of the body, be calm and have confidence.
is your craziest travel story?
Unfortunately I don’t have a crazy
travel story, but I could tell many stories about  crazy tenors ! 😉
the first thing you do when you go home?
I kiss my husband Brad, my
daughter Ambra, il mio babbino caro (my dear father), I hug my dog Mixy and my
three cats: Alfredo, Merci, Danke. After that, I gaze upon and contemplate
about our beautiful garden, I observe the progress that the plants have made
during my absence.
do you think of Atlanta? Any particular place, meal, or adventure stick out so
I live in Tuscany, in the
countryside, in a house in the middle of fields, without television. Atlanta
is a huge city. Every time I walk down the street I feel so small. Every day is
an adventure while driving a car here! But, there are some lovely places
in Atlanta, houses and gardens as beautiful as a fairy tale where I could surely
feel like a gnome in an enchanted world.
are the 5 things you must have when you travel?
I need my cell phone to keep in
touch with my family, the score, my daughter’s photos and drawings, a
humidifier, a coffee mocha, olive oil (because good olive oil is nearly
impossible to find outside Italy), some pasta, a bottle of wine (or two) and
Parmigiano cheese. Pavarotti traveled with his
entire kitchen, so why can’t I? ;-))))