Dilyara Idrisova Soprano, Russia «At home we staged children’s concerts, where I sang both for myself and for my sister – she opened her mouth, and I voiced it from behind the nearest wall.» What inspired you to become a singer? I was surrounded by music during my childhood. My grandmother was an opera singer, my grandfather was a composer, and my mother was a musicologist. Since I was 6 years old, I went to music school – piano class. Even as a little girl, instead of cartoons, I preferred to watch movies and operas, especially La Traviata by Zeffirelli with T. Stratas and P. Domingo. That's when I really fell in love with opera. What is your dream role and why? I can't name just one role in a world of so much beautiful music and brilliant operas which I would like to sing! I enjoy performing the romantic works of Italian and French composers, and Russian classics. I love baroque music, especially Handel and Bach; performing these is like looking into the depths of the human soul. My dream is to live in the world of music, and to do it so that more and more people to come to know this beauty. Who is your favorite opera singer and why? Priorities change in different periods of life. I try to constantly listen to singers of the highest class, and learn from them. What do you hope to achieve by participating in the Queen Sonja International Music Competition? I was extremely happy to get a letter with a message that said I was selected for the Queen Sonja International Music Competition. I could not believe my eyes! The competition provides an opportunity to try one's hand, to listen to the other participants, to visit the masterclasses. In short, the competition is a chance to have a great experience and become better than I am now. Tell us something surprising and unexpected about yourself? My mother says that I started singing before I learned to pronounce words. As a child I was introverted and quiet, but could sometimes sing incessantly. When one of the adults said to me, 'Would you shut up a minute? Even at concerts there are breaks!' I replied, 'No, I can't. I want to sing!' At home we staged children’s concerts, where I sang both for myself and for my sister – she opened her mouth, and I voiced it from behind the nearest wall. Is there anything else you would like to tell us which might be interesting to the public? I love the Bashkir folk songs called 'ozone-kui' which means 'long tune.' They reflect the history of my people, and our souls are open to all that is beautiful. I would like the world to hear them, because it's impossible not to love them!