Vesselina Kasarova

Internationally renowned Bulgarian mezzo-soprano

Vesselina Kasarova was born in Bulgarian town of Stara Zagora. As she studied piano and worked as accompanist at recitals, Kasarova became so drawn to the voice as a musical instrument that upon earning her concert pianist diploma in 1987, she switched to study singing under Ressa Koleva at Sofia's Music Academy - focusing on the works of Mozart and Rossini. Kasarova gave her first singing performance singing Habanera from Bizet's Carmen. She performed at Sofia National Opera while still a student. She performed the part of Rosina in the Barber of Seville for her graduation exam.

After graduation, she joined the ensembles at Zurich Opera and the Staatsoper in Vienna. She made her stage debut in Wagner’s Götterdämmerung. After winning a competition at Gütersloh in 1989, she appeared in two concerts at the Salzburg Festival. She regularly appears at the festivals of Bregenz, St. Moritz, München és Pesar.

Kasarova initially specialized in Mozart's operas and works by bel canto composers such as Rossini, Bellini, and Donizetti. In 2008, however, her voice has gained more warmth and size as she adds more dramatic roles to her repertoire. In 2003 Kasarova collaborated with the Bulgarian composer Krassimir Kyurkchiyski to produce a compilation of Bulgarian folk songs. She won the 2003 German ECHO Award for "Singer of the Year". In 2005 she won the Merkur Preis and was elected Bayerische Kammersängerin. She hosted Deutsche Welle’s Euromaxx television series Vesselina Kasarova: Bulgarian Encounters, introducing European audiences to her native Bulgaria. Kasarova was also named an Österreichische Kammersängerin in April 2010. The versatile singer spends her time between performances giving master classes, and, in 2012, published her first book, Ich singe mit Leib und Seele (I Sing With Heart And Soul), with music critic Dr. Mariane Zelger-Vogt.