On the Couch with Paolo Bordogna

Paolo Bordogna AAR On the CouchWho is Paolo Bordogna?
I’m an Italian opera singer. I was born in a little town close to Milan and I’m the only musician in my family. I’m saying this because I want to pay a tribute to my parents who always supported me in my professional choice without knowing anything about Opera or Classical Music. They used to say that I convinced them that be an opera singer was my “life” when they saw me on stage. I love them.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
Sometimes I think I can be whatever I want… when I’m on stage of course! While I’m singing I don’t have any fear, any pain and I’m stronger, even when I’m sick. But most of all I have the superpower to make people cry or laugh. So I have never thought to do anything different but my current job.

Who inspires you and why?
Anyone can inspire me in my profession: a person with a particular walk that I meet on the street, a particularly capable Director or Conductor, a more experienced colleague, but also a young one. Generally in life I draw inspiration from courageous people. I am fascinated by those who defend their ideas with determination without imposing them on others.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I start every morning thinking that I’m very lucky, because I’m in good health and I’m doing what I like. I think that everyone could make a difference in the world. Starting with being kind to each other.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I think Italy is a one of the most beautiful country in the world, and I live there. What can I ask more than this?… oh yes: one day I’ll come to Sydney as a tourist.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Since last year I lived in Pesaro, the city where one of my idols was born: Gioachino  Rossini. I think I’d like to take them to see the house where he was born. It is a small house, right in the centre, near the Jewish ghetto. I often visit it (today it has become a nice museum about the composer) and the simple and poor aspect has always made me think of the importance of study and self-denial that led a young provincial boy to become one of the greatest composers of all times. For me it is a magical place. Then of course I’d take them to eat a pizza!

What are you currently reading?
I’m a very curious reader. So I usually have more than one book with me. Now I’m reading The Truth About Love by Enrica Tesio and a biography of Truman Capote by Gerald Clarke.

What are you currently listening to?
I’m listening to Don Carlos (maybe my favourite Opera by Verdi) with Pavarotti, Dessì, Ramey and conducted by Muti.

Happiness is?
Wow! Who really knows the meaning of this beautiful word? Jean-Jacques Rousseau said: “All human beings want to be happy; moreover, in order to reach such a condition, one must begin by understanding what is meant by happiness”. I think that happiness we have to create ourselves by relieving the suffering of others and making others trust us.

What does the future hold for you?
Many trips around the world: Tokyo, Genoa, Wien, Turin, Rossini Opera Festival, Münich, Berlin, Cincinnati, Beijing, Spain, Moscow … with Mozart, Rossini, Donizetti, Verdi … in other words my future is with Music and therefore with Happiness.

Paolo stars as Figaro in Opera Australia’s production of The Marriage of Figaro at the Joan Sutherland Theatre – Sydney Opera House form 18 October 2019. For more information, visit: www.opera.org.au for details.

Image: Paolo Bordogna (supplied)