Romanian opera singer discusses her life in music

International student Adriana Borcan studies English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) at Richland. She visited the Chronicle TV studio for an episode of “Spotlight On” on May 1.

A Romanian native born in Targoviste, Romania, Borcan was inspired to study music by her maternal grandparents and her aunt and uncle, who were traditional Romanian music singers, before she moved with her family to the city of Bucharest, Romania’s capital.

With her family’s musical background and a fascination of listening to opera in the family home, Borcan decided to pursue a career in music.

She began studying piano at 6 years old and was enrolled at the co-ed boarding school, George Enescu National University of Arts, now Dinu LiPatti, along with her uncle, Ion Zanca, who is three years her senior.

“They said, ‘OK go with Ion,’” she described her parents as saying. “I was [in] first grade and he was [in] fourth grade,” Borcan said.

Ryan Duff interviews opera singer Adriana Borcan April 29 in the  Chronicle TV  studio.

Ryan Duff interviews opera singer Adriana Borcan April 29 in the Chronicle TV studio.

Her boarding school education went from elementary through high school. She attended the Ciprian Porumbescu Conservatory, now known as The National University of Music Bucharest (UNMB), where she earned her bachelor’s in piano.

“I can teach music in English but I can also have a second-or masters [degree],” Borcan said.

After university, Borcan worked as a piano teacher before moving to the U.S. to join her extended family who have lived in the states for 18 years. Zanca moved to the states on a scholarship and studied in Baton Rouge. He plays the viola and is a principal in the Dallas String Quartet.

“Work, work, work, and more work to try and start a new life,” Borcan said when describing her life after UNMB in Bucharest. “My uncle has a friend here [at Richland], Mr. Matthew Johnston.”

Johnston is an ESOL specialist at Richland “and they [Johnston and Zanca] are friends so he told us about Richland and he told us it’s a very good program. An intensive program in English, and I need to improve my English,” Borcan said while beginning to chuckle “as you see.”

Borcan believes that English will help her musical career.

Throughout the interview, Borcan corrected herself. That’s because English is her third language. Her second language, Italian, is the language in which she often conducts her musical performances.

“In my music, because if you traveled, you can go anywhere in the world you can speak English,” Borcan said. “And this is very important. It doesn’t matter where you go if you are in America or Tokyo or London.”

After the interview, Borcan performed in the Chronicle TV studio. She sang an interlude while her body shifted from side to side. Borcan is no stranger to performing for a live audience and stole the show at Richland’s annual Intercultural Festival.

Borcan said that once she masters English, she not only wants to become a successful musician, but wants to start her own music program as well.

Besides learning English, Borcan said she is currently applying for her American driver’s license. Borcan admitted that the Dallas traffic is different from traffic in Bucharest.