The Atlanta Opera: How do you balance getting into character in each production while making yourself comfortable in a new city?
Leah Partridge: I find it easy now because I have been doing this for 13 years. Being on the road gives me time to be alone and that is when my creativity and ideas have space to flow. However, I am singing at home now and I find that because I am not struggling with trying to find the grocery store or my way around town that I am equally relaxed and using my time differently.
What do you think of Atlanta? Any particular place, meal, or adventure stick out?
Atlanta is awesome! There are so many wonderful things to do here. I am thrilled to have moved back here three years ago. I really love all the restaurants. I live in the Midtown Westside and my particular favorites are JCT Kitchen and Bone Garden. Oh, and I love Bocado for a burger. I took the guys in the cast here for lunch one day and they agreed it was AMAZING! You can’t go wrong with the other arts organizations around here. I encourage everyone to check out the High Museum, the Botanical Gardens, the Symphony and drive up to Kennesaw State and see the new Zuckerman Art Museum, as well. If they want an adventure out of town to really see the south, I encouraged my colleagues to take a drive to Macon, GA to see all the Antebellum homes Sherman missed in his march.
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 road?
Good health is the key! I maintain exercise at all times. It keeps me in shape so that I can fall on the floor countless times during the rehearsal process if I am playing a character who is dying. It also helps me maintain cardiovascular strength which is a must these days in opera. There is so much running around happening now in opera. You must practice not running out of breath. So, I like to run on a treadmill and practice singing if I know the production demands it of me. For mental health, I stay connected to friends and family. Facebook is so useful to me on the road.
What’s the first thing you do when you go home?
See family! Enjoy my soft comfy bed and head to the country outside of Athens or to Lincolnton, GA.
What is your craziest travel story?
I once slept for fours hours on the floor of the Madrid airport. It had been a very long delayed trip and I was exhausted. I didn’t even care. People were stepping around me.
What are the 5 things you must have when you travel?
2. Running shoes
3. Yoga mat
4. Electric toothbrush
5. Did I mention Internet? It’s made everything easier…
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