Brent Michael Smith Brent Michael Smith has a Masters in Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Northern Iowa and a Bachelors in Music in Piano Performance from Hope College. He is a member of the Ensemble at Opernhaus Zürich after having spent the past year in the International Opera Studio. What’s your dream role and why? I have several dream roles but the one that stands above the other is King Phillip in Don Carlo. The role contains incredible music as well as strong dramatic content. Additionally, Verdi is my favorite opera composer. Who is your favourite singer and why? Cesare Siepi; his voice is one of the most beautiful bass voices ever and his array of roles that he sang reflects the repertoire that I hope to sing during my career. He always teaches me something new about how to approach a line or phrase. What to you hope to achieve by participating in the Queen Sonja International Music Competition? First and foremost, I hope to make great music and special moments with my collaboration with my pianist. Secondly, I hope to get some attention on the international scene. I have just gotten started in Europe, having moved last year during the height of the pandemic. I hope for more people to discover me and see that which I’m capable of. What kind of demands do you believe the future’s opera singers must fulfill to make a career? The demands of the future are already here in the present. Singers must be able to act convincingly, tell stories with their voices and sing at a level that is both flexible and consistent. Additionally, singers need to be open and gracious with the audience and public both during and für the show as well as on Social Media platforms. Is there anything else you would like to tell us, which might be interesting to the public? I am an avid tennis fan and player, love architecture and art, and I am voracious reader.