Erika Baikoff Erika Baikoff has a Master of Music from Guildhall School of Music. She is a former member of Opéra National de Lyon Studio and is currently a Young Artist in the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. What is your dream role and why? Iolanta by Tchaikovsky because of the beautiful text that Tchaikovsky so perfectly sets to music. The story is very touching in which we see a young girl bravely make the choice to see the world around her and escape the sheltered existence she was living in. I think we can learn a lot from Iolanta, by actively choosing to connect with and participate in what is going on around us instead of just following. That for me is the definition of growing up. Who is your favourite singer and why? My favorite singer changes based on the genre and language, but I would say that currently it is Elisabeth Schwarzkopf. Her use of the German language is so full of colors and brave choices that make the text come alive. What to you hope to achieve by participating in the Queen Sonja International Music Competition? I like to see competitions as a chance to polish repertoire I love to sing and gain another opportunity to perform, which we have been particularly lacking in the last year with so many theaters shut. What kind of demands to you believe the future’s opera singers must fulfill to make a career? With all the resources and information available to us, I think we are now expected to sing with even more intellect and creativity. We have to know the history of the works we sing and be curious about the future in order to make art that is relevant to today’s world and helps teach us how to forge new beginnings for future generations.