Mirjam Mesak Soprano, Estonia “All that's left now is to go and enjoy the experience, learn as much as possible and grow as an artist.” What inspired you to become a singer? I was a "sang before she could speak" kind of child and started playing around with music at a very early age. I would come home from school and sit behind the piano immediately without even taking off my hat or coat. At the age of seven I started singing in a choir and never stopped singing since. What’s your dream role and why? My dream role would be Suor Angelica. The first time I heard the aria “Senza mamma” I was hooked and have never been able to listen to it without tearing up. It would be a dream to one day be able to explore such a deeply sincere character. Who is your favourite singer and why? I don't normally have favourites. I respect and appreciate a lot of singers for many different reasons, for example Ermonela Jaho for her extremely sincere portraying of character or Elina Garanca for her beautifully dark and warm timbre. But if I had to choose an all time favourite I wish I could hear sing it would definitely be Maria Callas. What do you hope to achieve by participating in The Queen Sonja International Music Competition? I have hoped to do this competition for many years now and therefore it is already a win for me to be able to participate this year. All that's left now is to go and enjoy the experience, learn as much as possible and grow as an artist. What kind of demands do you believe the future’s opera singers must fulfill to make a career? We live in an HD/On Demand era which is making the demands on singers higher and higher. We are closer and more reachable for the audience than ever, and I think that holds quite a number of challenges.