Dongho Kim Bass, South Korea «When I was a teenager, I was kind of a problematic student. I had no interest in studying and I only liked to play games, but then I met my music teacher.» What inspired you to become a singer? When I was young, I wanted to be a pop singer. That has been a long-held dream of mine, ever since I was a child. But I met a music teacher in high school, whom I still respect most highly, who once let me sing a Korean art song. Afterwards he immediately suggested that I become an opera singer. What’s your dream role and why? My dream role is Dulcamara [in Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore]. My personality doesn't match the typical bass role, which is often more serious and calmer than other voice parts. The role of Dulcamara has lots of humor and he is very exciting, which is very much like myself. This kind of role is very rare for bass singers so I feel that I can do it better than any others. Who is your favorite singer and why? My favorite singer is Ezio Pinza. The reason why I like him is that he sings very bright and very naturally, but he also has a very deep and rich resonance in his voice. So his sound is incredible. In addition, he worked wonders in every role. He is the icon of my singing life. What do you hope to achieve by participating in The Queen Sonja International Music Competition? I hope to get a new experience as an opera singer by participating in this competition. I think that achieving a prize is meaningful, but not the sole purpose of participating. I believe that every step will develop me, whether it is a success or not. Mistakes and failures are very essential to be a good singer. So, I hope that I will evolve through this competition. Tell us something surprising and unexpected about yourself? When I was a teenager, I was kind of a problematic student. I had no interest in studying and I only liked to play games, but then I met my music teacher. Thanks to his help I found a vision of God which made me passionate, and I began to study vocals. After a year, I was accepted to one of the best music schools in Korea, and I finished my master's degree in Germany. Now I am a member of Accademia della Teatro alla Scala in Milan. 10 years ago, I would never have imagined that I would live in Europe doing what I have always dreamed of. Is there anything else you would like to tell us, which might be interesting to the public? What I think to be the most important when I sing is the language. So, I chose a diverse repertoire for this competition with different characters, moods and languages. I have concentrated a lot of time on the interpretation of the art songs and the character of the roles. I really hope that the public can also feel and enjoy these different types of music.