Sava Vemic Bass, Serbia “I hope to sing as fresh as possible for the Norwegians, the jury and all the live streamers out there!” What inspired you to become a singer? From the age of 5 I was slowly infected by the virus of classical music through my sister Ana’s violin playing. I was into sports at that time and was playing basketball, but I would listen to her playing from my room. It was always pleasant to hear her play, and it never bothered my basketball boy-like attitude. After 12 years of listening to her play It was Ana who encouraged me to go to the elementary school of music to study voice. She said: 'Try it Sava, you have a good voice, you should school it a bit.' That was the very beginning. Later on, inspiration came from everywhere and everyone (singers I would listen to, voice teachers) though mostly from schooling the ear to listen to more music - more classical music and then more operas. I can't forget how inspired I was when I heard opera for the first time (just the music at first, and later the words) from the first duet of Simone and Fiesco in Simon Boccanegra. What’s your dream role and why? I have to say Fiesco in Simon Boccanegra. The complexity of Fiesco's character and the music of Boccanegra is so good, from the very beginning till the end! And not just Fiesco's part, but everything else - there is no 'empty' space in Verdi's lines! Who is your favourite singer and why? This is an easy one: Cesare Siepi. Through his gorgeous singing and phrasing I could clearly hear all the beauty of Verdis melodies, Mozart's Giovanni, and others. He was versatile in terms of repertoire, though he sang in the Italian language most of the time, and stayed organic throughout his long career. Every bass, if he's being honest, will give you this name as his favourite bass. What do you hope to achieve by participating in The Queen Sonja International Music Competition? I hope to sing as fresh as possible for the Norwegians, the jury and all the live streamers out there! From there I have to wait and see what can happen. Singing in Norway is somehow exotic by itself! Tell us something surprising or unexpected about yourself! I have a master's degree diploma in pharmacy. I studied pharmacy for 5 years before attending the University of Arts for singing. At the same time as I studied pharmacy, I went to a high school of music for singing in Belgrade, Serbia. Drugs can help, but good music heals better if you listen to it!