Emily Pogorelc Soprano, USA "I am extremely excited to be dipping my toe for the first time into Scandinavian repertoire." What inspired you to become a singer? My mum was my primary inspiration to become a singer. She studied vocal performance in college, and while circumstances didn’t allow her to pursue a career in opera, she passed down that dream to me. Along with my father, she gave me every opportunity a young aspiring singer could ask for; I’m forever grateful to have such loving parents, constantly supporting my dreams and goals. What’s your dream role and why? It has long been a dream of mine to sing the title role in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor. Not only am I fascinated by the incredible music, but I find that the character of Lucia is dramatically complex in a really fascinating and challenging way. I’ve always loved her fragility, her naïvity, and her complete faith in love, to the point it destroys her. Who is your favourite singer and why? It’s hard to choose one! I’m a huge fan of my teacher, Julia Faulkner. I could listen to her recordings of The Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier forever. I also adore Beverly Sills for her incredibly impassioned singing and her approachability onstage and off. Of the singers of today, I love Lisette Oropesa— she’s so intelligent, fun, and virtuosic in her singing. I was able to watch her rehearse her first Violetta in Philadelphia years ago and it was an absolute treat for me. What do you hope to achieve by participating in The Queen Sonja International Music Competition? Competitions are always so helpful for getting performance experience in a high pressure situation. They are also a great way to introduce yourself to new companies and faces. I find that the feedback I receive from competitions is invaluable, as it’s always wonderfully helpful to hear from new perspectives. I am looking forward to all these things in participating in the Queen Sonja Competition. I am also extremely excited to be dipping my toe for the first time into Scandinavian repertoire. Tell us something surprising or unexpected about yourself! Most people that know me know that I love fashion and clothes. However, many people would not know that while I was in my undergrad, I worked for the flagship store of one my favourite clothing companies (Anthropologie). Working in a non-music field was fascinating to me: it took a lot of organization in my schedule and life to have a part time job and still be in music conservatory. It also gave me an appreciation of how lucky I am to be going into a career field I love. Anything else? I am very excited that I am bringing my mother with me to Oslo! One of my life goals was to bring both my parents to Europe. My dad travelled with me to Glyndebourne in England when I was participating in the Glyndebourne Opera Cup last year. Now it is my mom’s turn and she has been learning Norwegian since I found out I had a place in the competition! What kind of demands do you believe the future’s opera singers must fulfill to make a career? I believe that all opera singers today must have a clear point of view in their work. While having a beautiful instrument and being an intelligent artist are both important skills, I find that the best way for opera to transition as a powerful 21st century art form, is by supporting artists who possess a committed vision and find innovative ways to transform contemporary storytelling in this cultural moment.