Veronika and Nancy talked for about 45 minutes about the influence of early years spent with her Polish grandparents in a Pennsylvania mining town, where song and dance were part of everyday life, and of her early discovery of opera and choral music, and how music became a constant part of her life.
A short quote from the interview, in which she talks about the feelings she had singing the great choral masterworks we performed in Budapest, Bratislava, and Prague:
Veronika: When I sing and when I dance, even if it’s wild dancing, I feel a kind of calm and peace. There’s a sacredness to it. I mean, I’m not a religious person but they’re blessed moments when I feel connected to the people around me …
It just makes me realize, every single time, if we could just sing more, we’d have a much more peaceful world. If people sang and did music — music is goodness and love and peace, and it’s what we desperately, desperately need. You know, we see often, when people are in demonstrations and they start to sing—you can’t fight it. It’s really hard to attack someone who is singing to you. And that was the feeling I had.
I loved singing that wonderful choral music. I’m just sorry that it didn’t last longer. I just wanted to have it again and again and again…
I worry about what will happen when I can’t sing anymore. I try not to think about it.
Nancy: You’ll just have to keep singing.
Veronika: Maybe, maybe.