Anna Rajah Soprano, United Kingdom “When Maria Callas sang, it always felt as if her life depended on it” 1) What inspired you to become a singer? What really inspired me to become a singer was the joy of using my voice to communicate a story or emotion to people. 2) What’s your dream role and why? I have many dream roles, but my one in particular is Guilietta because this is a girl who is absolutely trapped by the conventions of society but yet attempts to defy them in pursuit of her one true love. Bellini really understands her character, which you can see in the way he uses elegant yet melancholic lines in her first aria as an opening to her story. 3) Who is your favourite opera singer and why? My favourite is Maria Callas. She had the voice, the technique and the stage presence and when she sang, it always felt as if her life depended on it. 4) What do you hope to achieve by participating in The Queen Sonja International Music Competition? I hope to use the Queen Sonja International Music Competition as a chance to show the audience who I really am at the moment as a Young artist and I hope that my programme will reflect this. 5) Tell us something surprising or unexpected about yourself! I can hoola hoop.