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Rafał Pawnuk
Bass, Poland

Rafal Pawnuk

“All changed by accident - as most of the great moments in life”

1) What inspired you to become a singer?

In highschool I was singing in a choir and I enjoyed it more than any other class. After highschool I was studying Chemical Technology in the University, but it wasn't what I was hoping to do all my life. In my choir years I also sang big sacred works (like Requiem of Mozart, Verdi) but back then I never could have imagined that I will later devote my life to music. All changed by accident - as most of the great moments in life. My friend had some free tickets to opera, it was Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci - obviously I loved it. It was 9 years ago but I still remember almost all about that evening. From that moment on I have been dedicated to commit myself to the most beautiful of all arts.

2) What’s your dream role and why?

There are many roles that I dream of.  But if I must pick only one... I would choose Philip from Don Carlos. I would love to sing it in the original French version. It is the dream role of any bass and the reasons for that are many. First is the music. When Verdi wrote the opera (long story short), he was identifying with the King - that is why "Philip's music" is so emotional and evokes compassion. Then there are the layers of Philip's personality. He was a strict and sometimes very cruel King but he was also capable of loving. This is just the tip of the iceberg to explain it properly; I would have to write an essay about what makes this role the top of my list. Am I going to sing it? Time will tell. I hope I will.

3) Who is your favourite opera singer and why?

My favorite opera singer is Samuel Ramey. I admire him for what he has achieved. He is a great performer, very flexible when it comes to switching music styles. He sang almost everything from the opera repertoire for his voice type.

4) What do you hope to achieve by participating in The Queen Sonja International Music Competition?

I would like to present myself and what I have to offer to people who are willing to listen. Competitions are a very tricky form of art. You have to put the whole role in one pill - it is very difficult. But for some young singers they are a good ladder to a career.

5) Is there anything else you would like to tell us, which might be interesting to the public?

I am a big movie fan. Love rock music. I have played solo guitar in a rock band. Science is still something that interests me - after hours. My biggest hobbies are sports (gym, bike, basketball and volleyball).

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