Zak Kariithi Baritone, Kenya “I will be the first Kenyan to participate in this competition, so I hope I to represent my country well.” What inspired you to become a singer? I grew up in a musical family, so I guess that influence and the one recording I had of Pavarotti inspired me. What’s your dream role and why? Marcello in La Boheme. I have been obsessed with this Puccini-masterpiece ever since I first heard a recording of the opera. Who is your favourite singer and why? Luciano Pavarotti. He was my first introduction to the world of opera and throughout my career I have watched and listened to him and his master classes which are a true gem. What do you hope to achieve by participating in The Queen Sonja International Music Competition? Through the competition exposure I hope to forge lasting connections with the opera houses that will be represented there. Tell us something surprising or unexpected about yourself! I am a good cook! Not to mention: I will be the first Kenyan to participate in this competition, so I hope I to represent my country well. What kind of demands do you believe the future`s opera singers must fulfill to make a career? Getting the right amount of exposure is fundamental in building a career. We are in an age where everything is online, and having a good online presence is very important to keep people interested in you and the art you represent.