Wowsers! ... an example of how/why Mongolia has gone ape-shit for opera:
Ariunbaatar doesn’t have a typical background for a contestant in one of the world’s most prestigious opera contests. He grew up in the traditional Mongolian way, living in yurts with his nomadic family, herding cattle on horseback across the steppe. As a child, he rode some 60 miles a day, and he was always singing. He won a place at university in Ulaanbaatar but dropped out after two years when he couldn’t pay the fees, became a taxi driver and one night got chatting to a customer who happened to be the chief of police. Long story short: he joined Ulaanbaatar’s police ensemble, worked his way back to university, then onwards to the grand opera houses of Russia and Europe.Whoooooeeeeeee!