Beate Mordal Soprano, Norway “I sang ‘O mio babbino caro’, while Bobby McFerrin accompanied me singing the arpeggio chords perfectly.” What inspired you to become a singer? The feeling of freedom and joy on stage the first time I sang, which was a jazz standard called the “Sunny Side of the Street” when I was 15 years old. A couple of years later I was introduced to classical singing and Vivaldi. However, the connection with the audience when you tell a story is my biggest inspiration to keep going and it has been my engine from the very start. What’s your dream role and why? I think I have many, but on top I have Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, because of the acting and the clever character. I also love Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Britten, Rossignol by Stravinsky, Zerbinetta and Sophie from Strauss. Ah, and then you have Händel.. this is tricky! Who is your favourite singer and why? My favourite from the past is Anna Moffo. I love her timbre. Today there are so many singers I love, among them is Edita Gruberova, Diana Damrau and Sandrine Piau. What do you hope to achieve by participating in The Queen Sonja International Music Competition? I hope to achieve some future engagements with amazing musicians in different places. And of course just to get more noticed so I can have the chance to get more work – because I love to work! Tell us something surprising or unexpected about yourself! My aunt made me go up on stage with Bobby McFerrin at a concert in Molde during the jazz festival. I chose to sing “O mio babbino caro”, while he accompanied me singing the arpeggio chords perfectly. And at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo in 2017 I talked about singing technique with John Legend because we sat at the same table. Not an every day event for classical singers like me. Bonus: I took a year off when I did my bachelor in classical singing, to walk and ski in the mountains of Lofoten and Svalbard. Incredible experience. What kind of demands do you believe the future’s opera singers must fulfill to make a career? To be well prepared, not afraid of promoting oneself – and as a result use more time on how to promote yourself, and try to do what you love the most. To sustain a long career you need a good technique and a good teacher, but you also need to be happy. Networking skills has also become a huge thing, I am still figuring this out, but I really admire singers who are fearless in this area.