On Friday the 18th of December at 8:00 pm, Tarja Tururen will perform at a special concert in Bulgaria Hall in Sofia. This is going to be her 9th concert in Bulgaria and there is hardly any other star of her caliber with that many appearances in the country. This time however we will have the pleasure of seing her in Christmas concert and the idea of Tangra Mega rock, which organises the event deserves admirations.
Once again Tarja was kind enough to give an interview especially for OFFNews. It was taken by one of the leader of the fan club of Tarja in Bulgaria - Tsvetina Ivanova.
You can check out the Bulgarian version of the interview here.
You come to Bulgaria with a Christmas concert for the first time but you have been doing Christmas concerts for years. What made you start doing these concerts and how are they different to you from the regular tours?
There has been enormous amount of requests to do Christmas shows in other countries than Finland for me for years. I did already in 2005 and in 2012 a tour in Europe with Christmas program, so it is not the first time I am doing it. The concerts this year are following the same path that I have taken for years, with some new songs and arrangements, but they are exactly the same in every country, including Finland. I love doing these concerts, since the atmosphere in these concerts is very different to the one my listeners know me from.
Is Christmas your favourite time of the year? Do you have any special Christmas traditions in your family?
Christmas is a time of a year when I usually get to see my Finnish family who I see only once or twice per year. It means a lot to me to be able to spend few days with my loved ones. With my own family we still don’t have any traditions, since our daughter is very little yet and our time during Christmas with her has been life on the road. Perhaps one day we will spend the Christmas in our own house and get to spend some quality time together.
How does your beautiful daughter Naomi inspire you in the song-writing process?
Not really in a concrete way, but she makes me happy every day so of course my happiness reflects to my art.
And how did Naomi start walking for the first time? What's the story behind it? Does it include a concert backstage?
She started walking while we were at home in Buenos Aires. I have this filmed. She was very careful baby, so she didn’t want to start walking too early, but when she finally did, she never fell or hit herself badly at any time. She is very cautious girl.
Back to the concerts, a lot of the songs in your Christmas concerts are classical. What part does classical music play in your life and career?
Classical music plays very important part in my artistic life. I am training still a lot my voice to become better in lyrical singing and that is my biggest motivation. I love singing arias or other classical pieces that gave me trouble few years ago, now without problems. There is always room for improvement. My rock career and my classical career are very well balanced nowadays in my life. I am making tours as a lyrical singer as well and enjoying the moment. Classical music was my first love in music when I was young and finally I have the chance to use my knowledge in it.
Ave Maria-En Plein Air is your latest work and first classical album. How was the idea behind it born?
I have always loved singing Ave Marias in my Christmas concerts and I think my voice sounds as it’s best in chamber music. With the support of organist Kalevi Kiviniemi, I started the project of recording my first ever classical album Ave Maria- En Plein Air. My audiences have appreciated me singing Ave Marias throughout the years and I have only received very positive feedback from them, so finally now I had the time to work on this project.
Will you focus more on classical music projects in the forthcoming years than rock music projects? It seems your audience loves both your classical and rock appearances.
My priority focus at the moment is in my career, which means that you will see me recording rock albums, touring with them, but also you will see me making classical appearances when ever it is possible. My fans are very open minded people and they follow me in my rock and classical concerts, which is rather an incredible blessing. I am challenging my listeners every time with my music, but I guess they do love the challenge. The next big things happening after this Christmas tour are that I will be finishing my forthcoming rock album production, working as a coach in The Voice of Finland TV-show, touring with classical music in Russia in February/March and starting rock concerts in the summer festival time in Europe. The new rock album will be released in the late summer and soon after I will be starting a world tour with this album.
When will you record your second rock DVD ACTII? You have mentioned you'd like to rеcord it in Bulgariа but only if there are at least two concert dates in a row schedules for this. Bulgaria warmly welcomes you for this!
My plan is to record “ACT II” somewhere in Europe after my next studio album release. This means that I have to find a perfect place for such recording pretty soon, but first I want to focus on my forthcoming studio album. My audience in Bulgaria is AMAZING, so it would be pure pleasure to have the chance to film this important DVD in your country.
You are in the jury of the Voice of Finland for a second consecutive year. Reality singing competitions are very popular here, too. How does it feel to be a part of the jury? Obviously you are recognized for your talent and success in your home country.
It has been lovely to take part in this show, because it has taught me a lot about music and other things. I am enjoying the moments with other coaches and my singers and it really feels good to be able to help. The close connection between my singers and me is very important to me.
The Bulgarian audience is going to hear some of the songs from the Ave Maria-En Plein Air album on 18th December in Bulgaria Hall. What else can they expect to hear at the concert?
You will be able to hear other Christmas carols as well, some of them internationally known, others less known. But you can expect a beautiful atmosphere in the concert, the feeling is magical.
You will be on stage again with Bulgarian musicians (Chavdar Valkov - violin and Georgi Miltiyadov - grand piano). You worked with Bulgarian musicians for previous concerts in Bulgaria, too. What are your impressions of them?
As classical music tradition is very important in your country, it is easy to hear and see that in the working mentality of the local classical musicians. Also there is a lot of talent around. I have always enjoyed working with Bulgarian musicians and I am sure this time won’t be an exception.
You have been to Bulgaria for numerous concerts, not only in Sofia, but also in Plovdiv and Kavarna. What is your best memory from our country? What do you think when a new concert is scheduled for Bulgaria?
Yes, it’s been a pure pleasure to see more of your beautiful country as an artist. I have been welcomed by Bulgarian audience with open arms always, so I am very grateful for it. I remember having my face painted in a wall of a building in Kavarna which was a quite big surprise for me, the audience and the concert in Plovdiv was just mind blowing good as well, but to be quite honest with you...I still have the best memories from my first rock concert in Sofia many years ago. I never thought of receiving such a support and love from Bulgarian audience for the first time I was visiting your country. It was SO beautiful experience that I was crying during and after the concert happy tears. I really want to thank you for all.
Do you notice differences in the way people perceive your Christmas concerts and how they feel about the Christmas holidays across Europe?
I always see and notice cultural differences between my audiences in different countries. The same happens in my rock performances as well. Some audiences are more quiet, other ones more wild and loud. Even in these Christmas concerts, the situation is very similar. In general, as these concerts are more quiet music wise, the audiences are also more quiet, but this doesn’t mean that they don’t enjoy the experience.
Thank you for your time and for bringing your Christmas spirit to Bulgaria! Any final words to the Bulgarian fans before the concert?
Thank you so much for the love and support again and thank you for having me. I am really looking forward to my first Christmas concert in Bulgaria. We will have wonderful time together there. I wish you all happy Christmas time!