|Country Of origin:||Bulgaria|
An exceptionally talented mezzo-soprano who stood out even in an era with no shortage of them, Vesselina Kasarova emerged as a popular favorite in the late 1990s, both as a recitalist and as an operatic specialist in the bel canto works of Mozart, Rossini, Bellini, and Donizetti. Born in the medium-sized city of Stara Zagora in Bulgaria's center, Kasarova attended music school there, majoring in piano rather than voice. She dreamed of a vocal career, however, and auditioned at the national Academy of Sofia. She was accepted and blossomed rapidly as a singer, joining the company of the National Opera of Sofia even before her graduation in 1989.
Kasarova's international debut came at the 1991 Salzburg Festival in Austria, where she appeared as Annio in Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito under the baton of Sir Colin Davis. In the autumn of that year, she appeared as Rosina in Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia at the prestigious Vienna State Opera. Through the 1990s she appeared at many of the world's major opera houses, broadening her reach into the deeper sound of the late nineteenth century and into the French repertoire. She also has given recitals and performed vocal concert works throughout Europe. She has recorded for RCA Red Seal, and in 1996 received a Grand Prix du Disque award for a French song recital disc that included the Berlioz Les Nuits d'été cycle. In 2003 she made an unusual move for an operatic artist by recording an album of Bulgarian folk music, Bulgarian Soul.~ Rovi