Photo by Elena Dikova, Bulgarian News Agency
Working in television is more complex, more difficult and therefore more interesting. It came to me naturally because it was linked to my development before and after it. I like to do documentaries as a producer and director, because this is associated with the visual expression of reality.
How did you fall in love with Nikola Ghiuselev?
It was long ago. Even before filming The Road to Sofia. When we met, he was a guest in Gounod’s Faust in the role of Mephistopheles in the Sofia Opera, and I participated while we were still at the ballet school. I participated in the Walpurgis Night, which is a whole dance play within the same opera. I played Cleopatra. Actually, we met there for the first time and then for some time because of the performance. Years passed by, I grew up and he even says, "I waited for her to grow up" and at one point I had already graduated ballet pedagogy and choreography, worked in the opera and moved to the musical theatre. Then, someone had given him my number and we started dating.
What does it mean to be the wife of so great a singer as Nikola Ghiuselev? What does it mean to be part of the life of the world opera elite?
It is a pleasure first. Second, it is a responsibility because he is a world star, I also have my career and weight, but his is of global level. I insisted on it even more than him in some cases; I helped him as a manager in many situations. There was no competition between us. I was even angrier than him and proud. I was not angry with him, but because of his problems and situations. This is really important. The fact that I have musical education was helpful too. I am in these circles ever since I was a child, I studied musical theory and piano for 13 years, I lived in the opera not only because we rehearsed there, but because I had this upbringing, this education which brings you to music and somehow it was perhaps understandable. We have common language for spiritual values, human values, we are the like.
You spend your live between Rome and Sofia. Where do you feel like home, where do you feel better? Where do you feel that you belong to?
No one could get away from his or her birthplace, from the home country. It always attracts you. Therefore, I feel at home in Sofia, but also in Rome, because I love this city. I am there since 1990. Especially now, when my child grew up and got away from me because my daughter Adriana is 25 years old and started working and living her own life. So I'm more independent, I no longer have these concerns that I had before. The mother is always mother, she has worries but she does not need me, I am not right next to her any longer, which means, as she said, "Now, Mom, think for yourself." But I really feel very well there, I am calm, I can see all the things, I have responsibilities - I must be there because of my work and my home because it needs someone to take care of it, because Nikola is mainly in Sofia – he has students. His health was not good lately but he is fine now. So, he basically stays in Sofia and he likes to live in our house there, in which he has put much effort and tension once.
You have been organizing cultural events between Bulgaria and Italy for several years. Greeks take part in them too. What exactly are you trying to do?
This expression “to develop intercultural dialogue” is fashionable in Italy, but also in European countries. There have always been a lot of people in Rome and Italy, they have passed and crossed different fates and nationalities, and it is interesting to combine the Bulgarian history with the Italian, Greek, French, and it captured me and I'm interested. I know Emilio Raffara for about 25 years when we lived in Parma and he taught in the music school there. He is a Greek musician, a guitar teacher, he has a group and they travel and perform. When I made the first edition of Art and Friendship in Rome aiming to unite artists of different nations, to share culture, experience and talent, Emilio Raffara played the guitar, the pianist was an Italian and played Gershwin, accompanying our pop singer Rositsa Bordzhieva and the actors were me and a an Italian colleague Saverio Wallonia, the son of another great actor Ralph Wallonia.
The event took place in the hall of the Bulgarian Embassy in Rome and more than 300 people attended it. When it became clear that there will be a Greek musician, the Greek Embassy offered to participate and organised tasting of Greek wines as a present. Our Embassy presented the Bulgarian cuisine and beside the Greek guitar player, there was presented a book about Maria Callas by a Bulgarian author and we got a beautiful mix. It was on the occasion of Bulgaria’s joining the European Union in 2007. Then, in 2009, I made a second edition with Bulgarian, English, Italian and French writers of poetry, big names again in the accompaniment of a 12-string guitar and Roman canzonets in one of the oldest Roman theatres in a typical ancient neighbourhood in Rome and now I am preparing the third edition .
How do you see Anna Maria Petrova after 10 years?
It is a very difficult question - I do not know, I hope to be in good shape, especially if I am doing ballet. This keeps the spirit. I must tell you that the ballet creates an inner discipline and shapes you as a person who can make sacrifices in live in the name of something spiritual. This gives an inner education. And I hope to be in good shape, still working and doing what I like and love, and enjoying health in the family and me.