Emma Char Mezzo-soprano, Canada «I loved to reenact plays I saw when I was a child, and I was pulled towards classical music as it was introduced to me through my music teachers.» What inspired you to become a singer? I was perhaps first inspired by a community production of Die Zauberflöte that I saw when I was 6 years old. Die Königin der Nacht arias made quite an impression on me (as well as the entire show), and I wanted to imitate them. I loved to reenact plays I saw when I was a child, and I was pulled towards classical music as it was introduced to me through my music teachers. Once I learned more about opera in conservatory and gained experience performing in my graduate programs, I enjoyed it more and more. It has been a gradual progression towards becoming an opera singer. What’s your dream role and why? Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia. Rossini is such a challenge vocally and dramatically, but I love the effusive energy of it! Who is your favourite singer and why? Joyce Didonato, she has been an inspiration for me on my way through school and is someone I admire as a human being as well as for her immense intelligence and musical excellence. What do you hope to achieve by participating in The Queen Sonja International Music Competition? I hope to give myself a challenge and expose myself to a new audience and new experiences. Tell us something surprising or unexpected about yourself! I am half Chinese American and half English Canadian. I do not speak any Chinese and neither do most of my family, unless they have made a deliberate effort to study as adults, because my ancestors have lived in Hawaii for 4 generations. Is there anything else you would like to tell us, which might be interesting to the public? I love cycling, and like many singers, I love food and spending time with my loved ones!