Evgeniia Asanova Mezzo-Soprano, Russia «I hope that my performance will tell more about me than any words.» What inspired you to become a singer? It is quite an amusing story – how I chose to become a musician. My family still mocks me, in a friendly way. When I was four, I was in love with a singer who was popular at the time and was determined to marry him once I grew up. My mother asked me jokingly, 'How will you two meet, if he is there, in the TV box, and you are at home, in your provincial village?' That is when I decided that I would become a singer in order to get 'in the TV-box.' After much persuasion my mother took me to a music school. I have been learning to play the piano since I was 5. At music college, I started to sing with a jazz band, and those were my first steps towards professional singing. My decision to seriously take up opera was a gradual one, I was getting more and more smitten with it. In the 3rd year of my education at the college I changed my major to classical singing. It has been 5 years since I started working in the opera field. What’s your dream role and why? Even since I was a freshman I have dreamt of performing the part of Lyubasha in The Tsar’s Bride by Rimsky-Korsakov. Generally speaking, he is my favourite opera composer. His orchestrations are extremely helpful for singing and the intonations of the vocal parts are very true and natural. Lyubasha specifically is a very interesting part dramatically. She is a woman who will do anything for the sake of love, even to the point of committing a murder and meeting her own death. Who is your favorite singer and why? I adore the timbre of Tamara Sinyavskaya. In my opinion, it is very deep, dark, thick, and feminine. I always feel goosebumps running along my spine when listen to her. In general, I think it is impossible for one artist to sing all kinds of pieces equally well, every singer has their own strong suit. You will always have your favorite artist for Mozart, another one for Verdi, and a different one for Shostakovich. What do you hope to achieve by participating in The Queen Sonja International Music Competition? First of all, it is a challenge. I am definitely looking forward to making interesting and creative acquaintances. You never know where you might meet a person who could help you to achieve more in your professional life. I definitely have a wish to win, and the thrill of the race stimulates me to study. That is why I love to compete. Tell us something surprising and unexpected about yourself? I love motorcycles. When I see people riding motorcycles, be it in the movies or in the street, my heart races, because it is breathtaking. Riding a motorcycle helps to get rid of all thoughts, it is a kind of meditation for me. Unfortunately, I do not have a motorcycle right now. For the time being I enjoy riding my bike in the park instead. Is there anything else you would like to tell us, which might be interesting to the public? I think that the most important things that determine a personality are one's actions. I hope that my performance will tell more about me than any words.