Bulgarian opera singer Vesselina Katsarova on Sofia stage

On 25 June Bulgarian opera singer Vesselina Katsarova gave a concert with the Bulgarian National Radio’s Symphony Orchestra in Hall 1 of the National Palace of Culture. The concert was the last event of the Salon of Arts Festival. Top mezzo-soprano Katsarova presented arias from Rossini’s Tancredi, Saint-Saens' Samson and Delilah and Bulgarian composer Georgi Kostov’s Grozdana. In the next twenty minutes or so, you will hear performances by Vesselina Katasarova. We kick off with Handel’s Ariodante.

For more than 2 decades now, Vesselina Katsarova has triumphed all over the world. She takes part in some 60 performances a year, her programme being full until 2013. She has worked with a huge number of contemporary conductors. In her words, she owes her career to Herbert von Karajan, who has made her popular worldwide. She has worked with Italian opera soprano Mirella Freni, Bulgarian opera singer Nicolai Ghiaurov, Slovak soprano Edita Gruberova, etc. She is ever grateful to these people for all the priceless lessons she has learnt from them. Listen now to Rossini’s Tancredi.

© Photo: BGNES

Vesselina Katsarova has been on the opera stages in Saltsburg, London, Rome, Berlin, Chicago, New York, Vienna, etc. She lives in Switzerland. As she said before journalists, she is currently changing her repertoire. She is gradually stopping performing some of the works she is associated with worldwide, such as Rossini’s operas. She intends to dedicate herself to drama parts. At the concert in the National Palace of Culture she sang for the last time Rosina’s Cavatina from The Barber of Seville. In her words, in 2013 she will officially bid farewell to the part of Rosina. We bring you now Rosina’s Cavatina from The Barber of Seville.

Vesselina Katsarova was born in Stara Zagora, a town with traditions in the opera at. Her father was a passionate music fan. It was thanks to him that she started playing the piano at the age of 4. At the National Academy of Music she was a student of Professor Ressa Koleva. The opera singer always tries to include Bulgarian works in her concerts. Here is how, according to her, foreign viewers receive those works:

“Their reception is very good. I would like to stress, however, that I started presenting works by Bulgarian composers after I established myself as a singer. I knew I had to gain my viewers’ trust first. It was essential to me that Bulgarian music be received well. A few years ago I joined a project of Krassimir Kyurkchiiski. The German label that produced the disk sent some representative to Bulgaria. We recorded a whole cycle of folk songs arranged by the artist himself. Our music culture is little known around the world. There are even some misconceptions. We’ve got beautiful music, a different music taste and aesthetics”, says Vesselina Katsarova. Here is Krassimir Kyurkchiiski and the song Zableyalo Mi Agantse (A Little Lamb Started Baaing)

Vesselina Katsarova has got an opera repertoire of over 50 roles. “I’ve seen great artists. I’ve learnt from them, but I’ve never copied them. This is my advice to the young artists attending my master classes. An artist should always seek his or her own artistic expression. I have fulfilled all my dreams. The only thing I wish for right now is that my family is all well and in good health. I also want to rely on my voice for the future. These are the most important things for me. When people are happy and have got no concerns about their families, their artistic work is unfolding quite naturally”, the opera singer concludes.

We asked her what her greatest achievement was. The answer went as follows: “My son. He is 12 years old and has just been accepted to a nice school. I am very proud of him. Since he was born, I know what I am living for! A person should stay close to the things that matter in life. They are not in the theatre. The theatre has got the music, the roles and my work that I love passionately. However, the real life is something quite different”. We wind up this edition of TOM with Habanera from Bizet’s Carmen in the rendition of Bulgarian mezzo-soprano Vesselina Katsarova.

English version: Vyara Popova

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