Aleksandra Olczyk Soprano, Poland «My idol is undoubtedly Renée Fleming. I deliberately use the term “idol” because she is a role model for me not only as a singer but generally as a human being.» What inspired you to become a singer? I was inspired by a young woman I know nothing about, apart from the fact that I was delighted by her. One summer evening she was sitting on a street corner in Cracow, charming the passers-by with her singing and harp playing. She was a young, beautiful woman. She had fair hair and wore it lose. She was dressed in a long, light dress. She was singing like an angel and the sound of the harp added a romantic, almost fairytale expression. I was enchanted and it was the first time I felt the calling in my heart. What’s your dream role and why? My favourite role right now is Gilda from Rigoletto by Verdi. There are many reasons for that. Firstly, I love romantic Italian music and bel canto. I value Verdi highly as a composer and I am a supporter of the veristic trend. Finally, I love the character of Gilda. In her naivety and faith, she is as pure as the driven snow. The first time she falls in love, she experiences passion, humiliation and betrayal and her final act of love proves this young girls’ extraordinary courage. She is a truly romantic character and I am a romantic soul. That's probably why I love her so much. Who is your favorite singer and why? My idol is undoubtedly Renée Fleming. I deliberately use the term "idol" because she is a role model for me not only as a singer but generally as a human being. I had the great pleasure of meeting her personally when she was in Poland during her tour. I am fascinated by her personality. Everything she has been through to control her beautiful voice teaches great humility and respect for the delicate matter of singing practice. Renée Fleming is a singer who loves people and an artist who sings with all her heart. Her performances are full of expression and arouse great emotion. You can see she is a person full of passion. What do you hope to achieve by participating in The Queen Sonja International Music Competition? It is my first competition so I see it as an important audition. First of all, I'm looking forward to spending time in the capital of Norway. I have heard it is a wonderful place, and am looking forward to seeing it for myself. I hope I will have the opportunity to meet interesting people from my industry. Maybe it will also be an opportunity to make friends with people who come from different corners of the world and who share similar interests. And finally, it will be an invaluable attempt to face myself. I am curious to see whether my performance can make someone happy, or maybe just the opposite! I don’t expect to win any prizes but I would be happy if someone noticed me.