A Tale of Two Singers
Here are two wonderful singers at very different stages of their career.
At just 24 years old Valentina Naforniţă, from Moldova, was the winner of Cardiff Singer of the World in June of this year and it proved to be a life-changing experience with offers from around the world coming thick and fast.
Vesselina Kasarova, from Bulgaria, has 23 years of professional singing behind her and, hopefully, many more ahead and, at 46, it can be said that she is at the peak of her career.
photo from BSO facebook page
Interestingly, in the past couple of weeks, both these women have given interviews which have been published.
“The Cardiff judges said that I have to do bel canto repertoire, because they liked the Donizetti that I performed in the final but I would also like to sing Verdi and Puccini – a little later, perhaps.”
In the first,Valentina Naforniţă speaks frankly to Elizabeth Davis about her competition win and the whirlwind which ensued. She tells of her feelings during the Cardiff Competition, the advice she has received and how her family is reacting to her extraordinary catapult to fame.
You can read the full interview HERE
Wouldn’t it be terrific if the singer just starting out could hear and heed these words from the singer who has made such wise choices in her career that she is still working as hard as ever and her schedule stretches way into the future?
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.“
HERE is the full interview that Frau Kasarova gave to Europost’s Roslava Kumanova and published a couple of weeks ago.
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.
And, because it’s White Shirt Weekend, here’s one of the latest images of Frau Kasarova -
complete with white shirt and swooning Soprano!
Bavarian State Opera, July 2011 photo from BSO facebook page
Whether you are imparting or heeding advice …