The renowned mezzo-soprano expects with thrill her new meeting with the Sofia audience
“Bulgarian mezzo Nadia Krasteva’s fiery performance as the temptress fully aware of her powers displayed an entire constellation of vocal beauty, sensuality, and acting prowess. Integrating Krasteva’s astonishingly flexible body movements into the mix added a whole new dimension to this character, with nuances of grace and subtlety that have rarely emerged in traditional portrayals of Delilah as a merciless, conniving woman bent on revenge. Most impressive of all, Krasteva’s voice, a perfect mélange of expansive range, lush tones and agility, made hers a stunning San Diego Opera debut.” This wrote Erica Miner in “Operapulse” about the debut of Nadia Krasteva in the role of Dalila in San Diego (USA).
The popular mezzo-soprano graduated the State Academy of Music “Prof. Pancho Vladigerov” in Sofia in the class of Assoc. Prof. Zhasmina Kostova and after that she specialized at the Boris Christoff’s Academy for Young Talents in Rome by Prof. Anita Cerquetti. Immediately after she was appointed at the Stara Zagora Opera and quite soon she received an invitation for an audition from Wiener Staatsoper. There she debuted in the role of Fenena in “Nabucco” and quickly she turned into a favourite of the exigent Vienna audience and critique. Soon followed invitations from the most prestigious opera scenes and festivals in Europe, the USA and Japan, where Nadia has sung together with names like Edita Gruberova, Placido Domingo, Agnes Baltsa, Anna Netrebko, Marcelo Alvarez, Neil Shicoff under the baton of celebrated conductors like Zubin Mehta, Seiji Ozawa, Fabio Luisi, Riccardo Muti, Adam Fischer, Julian Kovatchev, Daniele Gatti. She has taken part in productions of directors like Franco Zeffirelli, Hugo de Ana, Peter Konwitschny, Vera Nemirova, Marco Arturo Marelli. The audience has applauded her not only in Vienna, but also in Paris, Berlin, Moscow, Tokyo, Milan, Zurich, Amsterdam, Munich, Chicago, Dallas, San Diego, Santander, Valencia, Hamburg, on Arena di Verona, in Sankt Margarethen.
“With me everything happened almost by chance, so that I couldn’t really understand, exactly how did it happen”, shared Nadia Krasteva. “I had no excessive ambitions. Dreams and wishes – yes, but I have never been ready “to step over corpses” to achieve my goals. I do things not as much with measure, as spontaneous and from the heart. I would like to express myself and my feelings through what I’m showing. And quite many things succeeded. I have accepted the offers which came in the course of time and I have done my best in each thing – regardless whether small or big – to put in my soul.”
Together with the invitations from different opera theatres and festivals was enriched also the repertoire of the young singer. Among the parts sung by her are already Carmen, Dalila, Eboli (“Don Carlo”), Amneris (“Aida”), Leonora (“La favorita”), Maria Gesualdo (“Gesualdo”), Adalgisa (“Norma”), Sara (“Roberto Devrieux”), Giulietta (“Les contes d’Hoffmann”), Venus (“Tannhäuser”), Preziosilla (“La forza del destino”), Fenena (“Nabucco”), Ulrica (“Un ballo un maschera”), Maddalena (“Rigoletto”), Meg (“Falstaff”), Marina (“Boris Godunov”), Olga (“Eugene Onegin”), Polina (“The Queen of Spades”), the Requiems by Verdi and Mozart, Symphony No. 9 by Beethoven and others.
The successes don’t turn the head of the mezzo-soprano, but rather make her reason soberly. “Our profession is not only glory, applauses and satisfaction. It brings much happiness, but it is accompanied also by difficult moments and requires many sacrifices. Of my 14 years on the stage, 12 I am abroad. There are moments when you get sick, moments in which you would like to be with your closest relatives and friends, and you are alone at the other end of the world. Everyone who has entered into a more responsible engagement knows how many are the hard moments because of the assigned enormous responsibility.”
“Every beginning is quite unclear and one imagines the profession in a different way”, shares today Nadia Krasteva. “After some time and gathered experience, you become more or less a realist, you put off the rose-coloured glasses. I have gathered successes, as well as disappointments on my way. If I am glad for something, it is that what I am doing, what I have achieved was on the basis of some kind of a natural process. It is based on the roles sung, things have developed in a natural way. The tendency of today is to invest many funds in some singers, to do everything possible for them to be sold, so that in the course of time they turn simply into a product. And this kills our profession, undervalues the work of the other singers, limits the artistic individuality“, categorical is the performer. And her personal experience, and the meetings with people from her profession show that not always singers with very good qualities succeed to establish themselves, or they succeed only to some extent. “The fact that someone is not so renowned doesn’t mean that he or she is less capable or talented. I have a great respect towards all with who the stage has met me. Besides, the result by the singer depends very much also on the momentary condition. The balance between the adrenalin and the self-control is very delicate.” Also to the successes the famous mezzo-soprano looks soberly, without exaggerating their value. “If it is a success – you are happy of it two-three days, if it is a failure – you suffer two-three days and you continue forwards. Only that way you can preserve yourself in this profession.”
“The good thing by us is that we have a possibility to experience different aspects of ourselves in the different roles, so that in life we have the chance to be natural. Our profession is such that in the moment in which you are on the stage, you forget who you are in real life, you take out some aspect from yourself in order to be able to transform yourself. I am an ordinary person, I like to mingle with the crowd, in order not to be recognized. I am feeling uneasy to be in the centre of attention, that is why I don’t feel comfortably, when I have to speak about myself”, shares Nadia Krasteva.
The well-known mezzo-soprano expects with excitement her appearance on the stage of Sofia Opera and Ballet in December in the role of Dalila. “I am expecting this production to be made very interesting, with wonderful sets and costumes. Hugo de Ana makes everything on his own with much mastery and professionalism. What he has made is always very beautiful. I have plaid before years, in 2009, at the Santander Festival in his production of “La favorita” by Donizetti. For me it will be a pleasure to get acquainted and to work with maestro Erich Wächter.”
“I am happy with the invitation of Acad. Kartaloff for my upcoming guest-performance at Sofia Opera. Just before my departure for Vienna in 2002 I sung the main role in his production of the opera “Carmen” – the grandiose production in the open air on the Forum in Stara Zagora and on the Batenberg Square in Sofia.”
“Samson et Dalila” is one of my favourite operas because of the splendid music, which cannot leave you indifferent. The harmonies in the music, the movements in it are remarkable, the work of art is written in a very interesting way. My favourite part is in Act II, where is the big duet with Samson, as well as the beautiful and very famous two arias of Dalila. The role of the main character in Camille Saint-Saëns’ opera is a real challenge because of the fact that it is not positive. Naturally, the profession of the opera singer requires from him or her to transform himself or herself also in such roles, when the work of art imposes it.”
“I am very excited, I feel a mixture of anxiety and happy thrill to sing again in Sofia, although it is more difficult to come back where people know you still from your student years. Naturally, you want to be liked by the audience. When you go out of the stage and you know that things were successful, on the way home you feel happy. Enormous is the joy, when you have succeeded to give joy to the people who have come because of you. Then you would like to embrace everyone, to give them from your energy, to wish them to be happy. You want to feel the deep connection with the place where you have started from, with the people with who there are so many connections, with everything Bulgarian and native.”
Interview by Dimitar Sotirov