26 years old Vesselina Kasarova 1991 - Rossini: Il Barbiere di Siviglia ""Contro un cor che accende amore" Geneva 1991
Early life and education
Vesselina Kasarova (pronounced ka-TSA-ro-va) was born in the central Bulgarian town of Stara Zagora in July 1965. Under the communist regime that supported the arts, she studied Russian as a second language and began her music education in early childhood, taking her first piano lesson when she was only 4 years old. She gave her first stage performance as a 16 yrs old pianist performing Mozart sonatas in 1981 in her home town. As she studied piano and worked as accompanist at recitals, Kasarova became drawn to the voice as musical instrument.
After earning her concert pianist diploma in 1987, Kasarova switched to study singing under the watchful eyes of Ressa Koleva at Sofia's Music Academy. A stroke of luck, since Madame Koleva protected her from the prevailing Verdi singing culture that might have ruined her voice early and steering her toward Mozart and Rossini instead. She gave her first singing performance in Stara Zagora singing "Habanera" from Bizet's Carmen. The prodigious Bulgarian also performed at Sofia National Opera while still a student. She performed the part of Rosina in the Barber of Seville for her graduation exam.
 Singing career
In 1988, while still a student, a demo tape recording of her performance was given to the renown conductor Herbert von Karajan, who, upon hearing it, asked her to sing for him at the Vienna State Opera. Though Karajan died a week later, upon hearing this engaging singer his successor offered her 2 annual contracts starting in 1991.
Vesselina Kasarova graduated from the Conservatoire of Sofia in 1989; spending her 2 years gap engaged by the Zurich Opera. There she soon became a favorite with audiences appreciative of her intense characterization of all the roles she plays, her expressive clarinet-ish voice, and virtuosic vocal agility. Her first role being two minor parts (2nd Norn and Wellgunde) in Wagner's Götterdämmerung. In the same year she won first prize in the "Neue Stimmen (New Voices)" international singing competition in Gütersloh, Germany, sponsored by Bertelsmann, owner of BMG Classics. In 1991, she made her debut at the Salzburg Festival singing 2 concerts in commemoration of Mozart's 200th death anniversary and as Annio in Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito under Sir Colin Davis. In that same year she left Zurich to fulfill her contract at the Vienna State Opera debuting in the role of Rosina in Rossini's The Barber of Seville, and remained with company for 2 years. There she married her Swiss husband.
Watch videos with other singers performing Contro un cor che accende amore:
ROSINA Contro un cor che accende amore di verace, invitto ardore, s'arma invan poter tiranno di rigor, di crudeltà. D'ogni assalto vincitore sempre amor trionferà. Bartolo s'addormenta. Ah Lindoro, mio tesoro, se sapessi, se vedessi! Questo cane di tutore, ah, che rabbia che mi fa! Caro, a te mi raccomando, tu mi salva, per pietà.
CONTE Non temer, ti rassicura; sorte amica a noi sarà.
ROSINA Dunque spero?
CONTE A me t'affida.
ROSINA E il mio cor?
Bartolo si va risvegliando.
ROSINA Cara immagine ridente, dolce idea d'un lieto amore, tu m'accendi in petto il core, tu mi porti a delirar.
English Libretto or Translation:
ROSINA Against a heart inflamed with love, burning with unquenchable fire, a ruthless tyrant, cruelly armed, wages war, but all in vain. From every attack a victor, Love will always triumph. Ah, Lindoro, my dearest treasure! If you could know, if you could see this dog of a guardian, oh, I rage to think of him! Dearest, in you I put my trust, please, come save me, for pity's sake!
COUNT Fear not, be reassured, fate will be our friend.
ROSINA Then I may hope?
COUNT Trust in me.
ROSINA And my heart?
COUNT It will rejoice!
ROSINA Dear smiling image,
sweet thought of happy love, you burn in my breast, in my heart. I am delirious with joy! Dearest, in you I put my trust, please, come save me, for pity's sake! I am delirious with joy!
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