JeongMeen Ahn Baritone, South Korea «I hope to create a moment in which you are touched by my music.» What inspired you to become a singer? I have always liked to sing in front of people. Before considering it as a major, I took lessons in children’s song, just for fun. I used to sing along to songs from the car radio and liked to grab people’s attention with my singing. Right before entering middle school, my parents said, 'Why don’t you stop going to the song academy? Isn’t it your future dream to be a doctor?' I told them that I could not do it. I had no interest in anything but singing. After that, I made up my mind to become a vocalist. What’s your dream role and why? Papageno is my dream role. In fact, I have performed the role three times, and preparing for it made me feel such a pure attitude towards music. I was so happy at the time! I hope I will be able to perform this role for some time to come. Who is your favourite singer and why? I like Thomas Hampson and Christian Gerhaher the most. I think that vocalists should know how to add colours to their voice just like a painter, instead of just making sounds. These two vocalists know how to control depth of emotion. I think they are artists who stand out from other musicians. What do you hope to achieve by participating in The Queen Sonja International Music Competition? In preparing for this competition, I have thought a lot about how I can show the full range of my musical ability. I have tried to avoid overlapping musical characteristics or emotions. To become a great singer, I think that I should be renewed when each new round and each new song. So, during this competition, I want to learn how to be renewed in every moment. Tell us something surprising or unexpected about yourself! I think that the key point to achieving empathy between the performers and the public is concentration. Focussing on the character and the lyrics throughout the song generates more feeling than can be delivered by the music alone. This is what I pursue. I hope to create a moment in which you are touched by my music.