Astrid Nordstad Mezzo-soprano, Norway “We should focus on showing the reasons for why this art form has survived: poetry, love, beauty, emotion and human nature.” What inspired you to become a singer? The music and the artform itself. I started singing in a choir in Trondheim where I learned to love voices and to express myself through it. After that things came naturally and the road to opera was soon quite clear. What’s your dream role and why? Carmen is one of them of course, mostly because I do love the music, and I find her really interesting. To sing Eboli in the future is another dream of mine, because it would be a cool challenge, but also because the whole opera of Don Carlos is just so beautiful. Who is your favourite singer and why? It depends on the music, but I find myself listening to Renée Fleming a lot. She is very captivating in her way of expressing! In the mezzo-world, I love Janet Baker and Christa Ludwig whom I am very grateful for all the fantastic recordings they have done. What do you hope to achieve by participating in The Queen Sonja International Music Competition? I hope to show what I can do and how much I love doing it, and I hope to give the people watching a good and interesting time. Tell us something surprising or unexpected about yourself! I like training the martial art Takewondo! I started in a club while I lived in Copenhagen, but have yet to find a new club in Oslo. What kind of demands do you believe the future’s opera singers must fulfill to make a career? I believe that your role today as part of the opera community, is to show humanity both in the light of today, but also through time. Opera singers today are trying to reach new levels of perfection, but what we should focus on is to show the reason for why this art form has survived: poetry, love, beauty, emotion and human nature. These are the reasons I feel we all live and work for to experience in life!