1) What inspired you to become a singer?
There never was a time in my life when I wanted to do anything else.
2) What’s your dream role and why?
In all actuality I am living my dream... I was a soubrette dreaming of the roles and arias I will be singing in this competition.
I still can't believe how my voice has and continues to grow. I am filled with so much gratitude that my dreams are coming true!
3) Who is your favourite opera singer and why?
Opera singers are so fabulous, how can I pick just one? Anyone who can get up in front of an audience and make beautiful sounds as opera singers do, deserve to be on my list.
Here are a few singers who have inspired me (in no particular order):
Luisa Tetrazzini - I have never heard a more flawless technique.
Teresa Stradas - I am in awe of the sheer power of theatrics and interpretation of roles.
Maria Callas - for her vivid portrayal of characters, stage craft, tenacity and business mind. Oh, and we can't forget the fashion!
Marian Anderson - for singing in the face of racism and standing up for all people of color and women of the world. May we all have the strength to be the change in the world as she has.
4) What do you hope to achieve by participating in The Queen Sonja International Music Competition?
I continue to be grateful for every opportunity I get to sing, share my work and explore new ways of communication the composers wish.
Every time I sing, I find something new to improve on, as well as solidify things that work. I hope to continue this exploration during the competition. For me, competitions are the highest level of stress a singer can go through. If I can make music here, I know I'll be able to do it anywhere :)
5) Tell us something surprising or unexpected about yourself!
I enjoy sewing. Once, when I was singing Susanna in a production of Le Nozze di Figaro, the original costume designer got fired and I volunteered to help sew up the remaining costumes. So days before the production you could find me actually sewing up Contessa's corset and final act robe. It was a good character study since in the first scene Susanna has made her wedding veil and is showing off to Figaro.
6) Is there anything else you would like to tell us, which might be interesting to the public?
I have had a spectacular last couple of months, between my Carnegie Hall debut and placing Top Five in the 2015 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition.
This year will be music filled, starting with my Washington National Opera debut as Irina in Kurt Weill's Lost in the Stars.