Jennifer Davis Soprano, United Kingdom «One time, my family and I had a sum total of 33 cats, most of which were named after characters from The Lord of the Rings.» What inspired you to become a singer? I have sung all my life as my Mam is a singing teacher and was heavily involved in shows when I was growing up, both as a singer and a conductor. I grew up surrounded by all kinds of music; it was wonderful. I didn't consciously make the decision to be a singer professionally, it really happened to me naturally. I studied English literature for my degree and applied for a Masters to continue that path, but I fell in love with singing again and applied to study for an MMus in Vocal performance. To my utter shock I was offered a place and so began my singing career. I've never looked back since that point and I'm so grateful to the teachers who took a chance on me early on. What’s your dream role and why? Oh I have so many! I love the role of Tatyana in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, probably because I see some of myself in her. I was a total book worm growing up too and often felt a bit different. I love how honest and real the relationships are in the piece and it's such joyous music to sing. Who is your favourite singer and why? So many and for different reasons. I love and respect Reneé Fleming, she's such a true artist in every sense of the word. Someone I always turn to when I'm researching roles and recordings is the great Mirella Freni. Just effortless beauty in everything she turned her hand to. Maria Callas for her unbridled energy and her sheer force of nature. I don't think there has been a performer like her before or since. There are also so many incredible artists currently who I admire greatly. I was fortunate to share a stage with Ermonela Jaho last year and it was a remarkable thing to watch her rehearse and perform. Gerard Finley is someone I hope to emulate in some way to; such attention to detail both vocally and dramatically. I could go on and on and on. What do you hope to achieve by participating in The Queen Sonja International Music Competition? I hope to simply enjoy singing and hopefully move and impress a few people along the way. I've chosen repertoire I love and I want to pass on that love to an audience. I've heard wonderful things about the competition and I wanted to be a part of it. I've also never been to Norway so I'm very excited for my first visit! Tell us something surprising or unexpected about yourself! At one time, my family and I had a sum total of 33 cats, most of which were named after characters from The Lord of the Rings.