Andrea Núñez Soprano, Canada “I was immediately enamoured with the music and the challenge that singing opera presented.” What inspired you to become a singer? Growing up I always sang musical theatre and jazz but it wasn't until I got to university that I fell in love with opera. I found a video of Natalie Dessay on YouTube and was immediately enamoured with the music and the challenge that singing opera presented. What’s your dream role and why? There are so many roles that I look forward to performing one day! If I have to pick just one it would have to be Violetta in La Traviata. The music Verdi wrote for her is stunning and as a character, she is an incredibly strong woman for her time. Who is your favourite singer and why? I have to say that Eleanor Steber has become one of my favourite singers. No matter what she sings, you can hear the raw emotion in her voice. Even towards the end of her career, her voice was flawless! What do you hope to achieve by participating in The Queen Sonja International Music Competition? I hope that my participation in The Queen Sonja Competition provides me with exposure to the European music scene. So far, my career has been focused in North America and I hope to share my love of this art form with opera lovers in Europe. Tell us something surprising or unexpected about yourself! Between the ages of 6-17, I was a competitive dancer in my hometown of Markham, Ontario. I was trained in ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, and lyrical/modern. These were my first experiences on stage and I loved every minute of it. Bonus: My summer job as an undergraduate student was working the IT Help Desk at a property assessment company. What kind of demands do you believe the future’s opera singers must fulfill to make a career? As singers, we need to be storytellers and I believe our physical interpretations is just as important as the voice. With opera being broadcast around the world, we need to give the audiences honest vocal and physical performances that can be experienced both in a live hall and on a screen.