Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen is a graduate of the Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera and the Wolf Trap Opera Studio. He also has a BA in History from Princeton University. What is your dream role and why? I have two top dream roles - Bertarido in Handel's Rodelinda and the Refugee in Jonathan Dove's Flight. These two characters' arias are what got my career started, when I sang their music to win the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (Laffont Competition). Those arias are still the music I connect to most deeply, and I dearly hope to sing those roles in their entirety someday soon! Who is your favourite singer and why? My favorite singer is the mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson. I would do anything for just one chance to hear her live, and I'm so sad that she passed so tragically, before I had discovered this art form. I love the glorious sound of her voice - the warmth and ease - but above all, I'm always blown away by her emotional honesty and the depth of her dramatic commitment. They pour out in every recording of her singing, and I listen to her before most performances I give - nothing inspires me more. What to you hope to achieve by participating in the Queen Sonja International Music Competition? By competing in the QSIMC, I hope to become known by new Casting and Artistic Directors and new opera lovers, but more than anything I view it as a chance to perform and to bring the power of music to people who tune in. It’s a great honor to perform for the Norwegian public for the first time! What kind of demands to you believe the future’s opera singers must fulfill to make a career? I believe that the arrival of the ‘Live in HD’ era demands dramatic conviction and commitment greater than ever before. I’ve spent years studying famous acting techniques taught by Stanislawski, Meisner, Hagen, and others, and I view this as absolutely crucial to our education as singers. Is there anything else you would like to tell us, which might be interesting to the public? It’s an honor to be a semifinalist in the QSIMC alongside so many fantastic singers from around the world. I wish that we could be in Oslo to perform live, but I hope to have a chance to visit soon!