Mercy Malieloa Mercy Malieloa has a BA in Music and Society from the NWU School of Music & Conservatory in South Africa and is currently completing her Master of Music - music theater at Hochschule für Musik und Tanz in Köln. In 2015, she was a member of the Opera Studio in Cape Town. What is your dream role and why? MUSETTA – I am fascinated by her witty character, which also has some kindness to it. Her passion and determination to get what she wants, speaks volume to who I am. Vocally it is a good match for me, character wise… even better and I believe there's so much that one can do with it, to explore more of the character. Who is your favorite singer and why? Rachel Willis Sørensen - She is a powerhouse of a voice. Her commitment as a performer and her understanding of her instrument is of great interest to me. She's inspiring because of her openness to share her experiences as a singer. I find the gesture to bring in her followers into her space of preparation as a performer and giving out tips that would be helpful to young singers, to be something to admire. If I were to give superwoman an operatic voice, it would be Rachel's. What do you hope to achieve by participating in the Queen Sonja International Music Competition? I would like to get exposure out of it, be it from Agents to Casting Directors. I'm exposing myself so that someone will see something in me that they would like to work with and therefore get opportunities out of that exposure. Winning this competition comes with a great financial gain and that's part of what I would like to get out of it. What kind of demands do you believe the future's opera singers must fulfill to make a career? Opera has evolved along the years, while the voice used to be the focal point of being an opera singer, nowadays, it is important to tell a story, to say what is beyond just a beautiful voice. To be more than a voice, to set yourself apart from a million other great singers. To exhibit one's uniqueness and individualism and being an energy, a personality that doesn't just tell stories but communicates emotions of our everyday lives that people can relate to, and I believe to achieve that, authenticity is key.