Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Vesselina Kasarova, the sweetest opera singer ever!

Ok, this is by far, hands down, THE BEST EFFING DAY OF MY LIFE! Oh Lord, where do I begin? I was actually having a pretty awful day, with a test I was terrified of being cancelled and having to take the elevator with a teacher who detests me (who was giving the test by the way). But it all seems like a long lost memory now.

Vesselina Kasarova and me backstage after the performance
I got in the concert hall about 3 hours before the performance, changed in the ladies room, and let me tell you, that is hard to do when you’ve put on some weight and the skirts isn’t closing so easily. I basically spend most of my time reading and when the house opened I went to the store and got one of Vesselina’s cds, the Rossini Arias and Duets one with Juan Diego Florez. The lady of the store took a liking to me after we chatted about Jonas Kaufmann’s awesomeness and she told there was going to be a pre performance thing, where a specialist talked about the repertoire. I went up stairs and watched a rather nice talk about the composers and arias. It ended at 8:45 and performance started at 9, so I rushed downstairs and got to my FABULOUS front row center seat and then I met my opera BFF.

His name is Otavio and he the man version of moi, we talked about everything time allowed us to talk about. From Massenet to Rossini and all the good things in life. I was so excited, I made a great opera bff who actually speaks my language and can go to these things with me! But enough of that, let’s get down to business.

Enters on stage the strings section of the Camerata Berg and majestically play Fabian Müller’s Maden, Motten und Muotathal. It is a group made by soloists, and that becomes so clear, they ARE the music, they breathe together but have absolutely unique and wonderful individual interpretations. I must sing my praise to the spala who was terrific, Florian Donderer.
Then enters the queen, yes, queen, because she has such a strong presence and demands all eyes on her. You know the orchestra was extraordinary but when Vesselina walked on stage I couldn’t tear my eyes off of her! And then she starts destroying my heart singing Cherubino, first Non So Piu Cosa Son Cosa Faccio. Reason number one I love sitting in the front row, you are so close to the singer, so close, you can see and hear everything, and I love that. Reason number two, the performer can actually see you, and she did see me and Otavio alright, we were looking at her smiling like too idiots and then she did it, she smiled back and I nearly died. The best thing about it was that she kept looking at us quite often, she sang Voi che sapette, and I nearly broke down. When she goes back to “Voi che sapette, che cosa è amor” she did it looking right at us, it was INSANE. All the Mozart feelings I was freaking out, happiness emanated from every pore in my body! And her voice, oh God, what a voice, so powerful, so strong and yet she is a master in dynamic, what she does with her voice and the interpretations were truly inspiring. Plus her dress was GORGEOUS!
Then the Camerata played the opening of Haydn’s opera “L’Isola Desabitata”, it was fantastic, but I must admit I was trying to recover from what Vesselina had just done. Then she came back and broke me to pieces again this time with another Mozart favorite of mine, Sesto. She started off with Parto, ma tu ben mio which is hands down my favorite aria from the whole opera. And she kept looking at us, and it was so cool, sometimes I’d feel she was singing just for us two! I smiled at her when she did those flawless coloraturas and she smiled back, it was really just like a dream come true! Then she sang “Deh, per questo instante solo” and I was gone, it was magnificent. I already had elected her the best Sesto ever in my opinion, but now it is so much more than official. Just MAGNIFICENT, and the looking at us, I had just met Otavio and I was squeezing his leg with excitement. Then comes intermission and I can hardly speak! I didn’t even move from my precious little best seat in da house! Intermission flew with one of the most sincere and awesome conversations I’ve ever had.
My actual distance from the stage, that was my view, SO CLOSE!
Then she comes back to rock some Rossini into our hearts, and oh she does, first with Tancredi the opera that literally launched her in the international opera business. I can’t even explain what that was, it was so incredible, maybe tomorrow I’ll be able to describe it more accurately. But it was something out of this world, her whole body sang, and oh yes, she was still looking at us. I’d love it when she’d sing whole phrases looking at me, or an awesome coloratura bit fixating those penetrating eyes in my dumb face. Because, yes, I looked like an idiot, I had to keep reminding myself to close my mouth. Just so much dynamic and those effortless high notes that seemed impossible since she was singing low notes and then BAM! She’d rock those high notes as if it was the easiest thing in the world.

Then the Camerata played Mozart’s 40th Symphony, oh I love that symphony, one of my favorites. That’s when I thought my friends from college should totally be here, these people are masters of their art, each and every one of them. Something quite unpleasant happened during that though, a mobile phone started ringing. The conductor immediately stopped and kinda danced to the rhythm of it until the person turned it off. I found that quite funny, but the audience in general didn’t.

Then she came back for her last aria, ah, so sad! Again Rossini, this time from the opera Semiramide, “Ah quel giorno ognor rammento”. I was also taken to another dimension when she sang this one, I remember she kept also looking at us, and smiling. At one point she actually spit quite a lot and made an apology face with that sweet, sweet smile of hers to us and I was like “Spit all you want, I love you!”. Again flawless effortless coloraturas, inspiring crescendos and pianos, pianissimos! She is like a super hero of the voice, she can do anything she wants, and the interpretation told a story and I never wanted to leave.

People, she was so close, it’s like, really, really close, like imagine you are sitting in the movie theatre, my distance to hers when she came near the edge of the stage would be the distance between the rows in the movie theatre. You could feel the music emanating (I like this word a lot) from her, and she was completely given to give us her best.

Encore time, we cheered like crazy Backstreet Boys fans and she came back! And what was the encore? UNA FREAKING VOCE POCO FA, just my all time favorite Rossini aria EVER. When the music started you could feel the audience go, “Ah yes!” and I let out a quite out “YES!”. I can’t begin to describe this woman’s ability with coloratura and ornamentation; she totally made it her own, with her unique “MA” and her witty interpretation of the amazing Rosina. Then we obviously wanted more, but then after taking some bows the orchestra quickly left and so did Vesselina.

So Otávio was smart and got in touch with her management before hand, therefore he got us a backstage pass. After waiting a bit there she was, again only a few feet away from me! I was freaking out, and she was being so cool to everyone, hugging and talking, truly amazing! After a few minutes me and my friend were up to talk to her, Otavio made a BIG love declaration and she nearly cried, it was a very emotional moment, I myself was almost crying at her crying. She took her time to talk to us about the concert, about the repertoire, it was almost as if I was talking to a friend, she was so open and friendly, it was truly a blessed evening indeed! Then I talked to her, the girl before me (a singer also) said to her “Oh you are such an inspiration to me” and I was like "Holy crap, I was gonna say that!" And that was exactly my opening line to her "You know I was going to tell you you are such a great inspiration to me as a singer but then that girl before me just did it and ruined my line!", she laughed, I make opera singers laugh, that’s my thing! I told her I adored her and worshiped her performance tonight and that every time she’d look at me during the performance I felt immense joy. She was touched and so very grateful that we went to talk to her. I got my pictures and I’m VERY happy now.
Vesselina and my new bff Otavio, she was so touched it was truly amazing!
I came back home giggling like an idiot, but I don’t care because Vesselina Kasarova just totally rocked my world and I feel like a million bucks! There will be another post on this concert since I’m watching the concert again tomorrow.

Peace people, live, love, laugh and listen to opera!


  1. OMG Bela, the way you write, I feel like I was at that concert with you. I almost got chills reading your description of the performance and your reaction to it. Thanks so much for sharing your experience. And congratulations on scoring some time with the Diva and finding an opera bff!


    1. Thanks so much Rob! It was really a night to remember, and tonight I'm going again and sitting in the exact same place I sat yesterday, there's probably going to be a new Vesselina post by tomorrow :) Cheers!

  2. What a great experience! I second what Rob said :)

  3. ... and I third it!
    Thank you for your account and infectious enthusiasm!

  4. Fourth! It sure sounds like a night to remember. :D Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us and for sharing your delight with VK at the concert. I'm sure it's a comfort to singers, no matter how experienced they are, to look out and see friendly faces open to hearing what they have to sing/say in the audience. Have a great 2nd concert night and looking forward to hear more about it, too! :D

    1. Thanks so much, I'm really happy, and cannot wait to see her again tonight. Here's hopping she recognizes me and my friend! :)