"I must admit to being shocked when Frau Kasarova recalls racism against singers of Slavic origin but it shows that obstacles and negative attitudes can forge a core of steel in a personality with talent, ambition and, above all, integrity. Thank goodness there are strong women who are wise as well as being superstars and long may these women impart sensible advice to the young."
Excerpts from the full interview:
- “I had a contract for Don Carlos. And Ioan Holender, Director of the Vienna State Opera, rescued me saying: “Vesselina, if you want a long career, go back to Mozart and Rossini. If you sing dramatic parts, in 6 years you will be exhausted.”
- “Back then, they advised me not to sing too much in the US as voices quickly die there. Singers perform with large orchestras in vast halls with audiences of 4,000-5,000 people. It is good for an artist to appear in front of an American audience, but within reasonable limits. I followed their advice and I wasn’t wrong. I would advise young singers not to hurry with dramatic parts. It is not only about vocal cords endurance. Jitters, stage fright may break the tie voice-person-spirituality. And when artists feel fear, they cannot continue their way.”
- ”And besides, discipline is also critical for singers, their understanding where their limits are, how much they should sing and what and whom with. And that is why I have survived through so many years.”
- “The most important thing is to stay completely down to earth. Only few artists can cope psychologically with the word ‘success.‘ I do not know how my art is evaluated, but I have remained a very down-to-earth and naturally-behaved person.”
- “And I have refused to sing Leonore in Fidelio. I have done this to spare my voice. Back then, these parts were not for me.“