Inna Demenkova Inna Demenkova is a graduate of Moscow Regional Basic Music College and V. S. Popov Academy of Choral Art. Next season, she will join the opera studio of the Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam. What is your dream role and why? I think that for me, as for many sopranos, the role of Violetta is a dream. Firstly, it is divine music. Secondly, technically and dramatically it is not easy, and I like difficulties. This character transforms so interestingly in just a few hours that it seems that you have lived a whole range of feelings together with her...that you lived with her through all her pain... Of course, I am still so young that I want to sing a lot of different music, not only opera, but also chamber music. Who is your favourite singer and why? Oh...I have a lot of favorite singers and they don't have to be my type of voice. I believe that you need to learn not only technique (although this is certainly important!), but you also need to learn a delicious word, musical phrasing, emotional presentation, so I listen a lot to: Placido Domingo, Corelli, Tebaldi, Callas, Freni, Scotto, Chofi, Agnes Baltsa, Price, Ricciarelli, Leo Nucci, Georgiou, of course I love Anna Netrebko. I can't single out any one singer or singer for myself, I find something unique and special in each of them and try to introduce it into my sound. What to you hope to achieve by participating in the Queen Sonja International Music Competition? You know, I've always loved contests. Not because I like to compete, but because it is on this platform that I can be heard by real professionals (theater directors, agents). My main goal is to convey MUSIC and EMOTION to people through the prism of my voice and soul. After all, the viewer comes to the theater to escape from real life, relax his soul or admire the sounds of the orchestra. I have been thinking for several years whether to apply for me or not, because I doubted my readiness, because this is a very large-scale and strong competition. But now I understand clearly what I want from participation. I want to be seen and heard, I believe that every singer has his own audience, because there is no artist without an audience. What kind of demands to you believe the future’s opera singers must fulfill to make a career? It seems to me that every year it becomes more and more difficult for novice singers, because there are so many talents. Previously, you could afford not to follow the figure or appearance in general, but to sing in the best theaters in the world, because there were other requirements before. If we are talking about my opinion, then I think that the most important thing for a singer is discipline. Our profession is like a sport, we sing with our muscles, so we have to keep ourselves in shape every day. Education is also important, because everything is visible in the eyes when a singer performs a part or just an aria, it is important to fill, charisma, energy, sociability, the ability to quickly learn the material, feel the music and have different colors in the voice. And it is important that you want to tell the audience with your performance. Is there anything else you would like to tell us, which might be interesting to the public? I can say that where I am now and at what stage of my budding career I am standing is the conclusion of my decisions and actions. I was born and grew up in a small town, I did not study well at school, when I entered college I was called professionally unfit, I did not study at the conservatory, but I received the best education at the Popov Academy of Choral Art, I sold pies. I worked as a cleaner in a barber shop, a manager in an advertising agency, a food collector in a store, handed out leaflets on the street and all this to stand on stage, to work with the best coaches, to participate in competitions. Everyone sometimes forgets how expensive education is nowadays. But I've never been afraid of work and don't be afraid, because you know what you're doing it for, to sing, to take place in a profession which you can't breathe without. Yes, it may sound very pathetic, but it's true. This is the life that many young singers live, not just me. I wish everyone to go their own way and not turn off the path. As my grandmother used to say: "You can't catch fish out of the pond without difficulty".