Editor’s Note: It was great to catch up with Tarja since her 2017 Christmas album release “Score For A Dark Christmas”. One thing that I’ve always admired about Tarja is her majestic voice and how she can use her classically trained opera voice in order to evoke emotion into the music and the lyrical content. Hence, when fans are listening to her, they’re not only taking in the music, but immersing themselves into the stories behind the songs. That is what Tarja certainly captured in her recent live album release entitled “Act II” and she is touring all over the world in support of that album. Fans can find Tarja at the following locations:
Madness To Creation: Act II is released via earMUSIC, what are a few things that you did differently for this live album as opposed to “Act I”?
Tarja: There are many differences between these two releases. We filmed only one concert in a modern theatre in Milan, instead of two nights like in ACT I in an old opera theatre. I didn’t play any piano in Milan concert, the band lineup is different as well. The setlist is very different than on the previous live release, because this time, it is based on my three last studio records and in Act I, that was based on my first two. I decided to produce the album in an artistic way that differs from Act I, so I used in the post-production lots of still pictures and effects. The extra material that is available in my new release includes very intimate show filmed in Metropolis Studios in London and two other rock festival performances. The total audio/video material is much more than on the previous live album. In the booklet, the pictures of me are not shot inside of the venue like last time, but we took them outside on the streets of Florence, Italy. And you will find many other differences between my live releases if you check them both!
Madness To Creation: You released an amazing live intimate video for the song “Love To Hate”, take us into that song and what was in like performing in front of that intimate audience?
Tarja: The whole event in the studio was very exciting for all of us, even the fans involved, because none of us had had an experience like that before. We performed songs from my new studio album for the first time live in that moment and it all got recorded and filmed at the same time. We were quite nervous before entering the studio, but after all the performance was just purely an amazing experience. I could feel every breath of my fans right in front of me, see their reactions towards my new creations and feel their support and care. I would love to make more this type of events to be honest. “Love To Hate” is very powerful, emotional, and personal song to me and every time I sing that song still today, it makes me fly.
Madness To Creation: What are a couple of things you “love to hate”?
Tarja: Spiders! I don’t like the hairy tarantulas!
Madness To Creation: Favorite country to perform in and why?
Tarja: I wold say that I enjoy in general my performances in Latin America. The audiences are more passionate and giving lots of energy to the artists to carry on.
Madness To Creation: You’re going to be touring Brazil again. Favorite spot to hit up?
Tarja: As I am carnivore, I love visiting Fogo de chao Churrascaria everywhere it’s possible. Caipirinha is excellent there as well, and “dangerous”!
Madness To Creation: With your storied career, what are a few challenges that you have putting the setlist together?
Tarja: I want to offer the audiences a different kind of concert every time, as I don’t like repeating myself. If I am touring with certain new release, the setlist is always based on that release, but the fan factor is that I do have many albums on my own already, so I can choose a killer setlist easier. It really depends on the location, country, and the reason for a tour which is the setlist in each city.
Madness To Creation: Favorite and least favorite song to perform live?
Tarja: So far, my favorite song to perform is “Love To Hate” from my latest album and to be honest, I haven’t got tired of performing any of my songs so far even though I have been singing them night after night constantly. I am having such a great time with my audiences all over the world and the reception is always interestingly different, so the performances are different as well. I am not getting bored.
Madness To Creation: Plans for the rest of the year, include performing with Stratovarius, what can fans expect from that tour?
Tarja: I am going to be on tour all the time until the very last concert in Moscow on 21st of December. It’s going to be a hard end of the year, but at the same time I am really looking forward to having a great time rocking with the beautiful people in my band and crew! After two extensive tours with my band, I have a long Raskasta Joulua tour in Finland and my own dark Xmas concerts. Touring with Strato will be fun, since I have been friends with Timo K for a long time already. We are preparing nice surprises for the audiences that are going to witness our tour. But just to make it clear, I perform with my own band and Strato in their own.
Madness To Creation: Celebrating “Dark Christmas” in Czech Republic, what is your favorite thing about Christmas?
Tarja: My favorite thing about Xmas is spending it peacefully with my dear family!
And there you have it! In case you missed it, check out our review of “Act II” here.
Tarja will be performing all over the world, including a Christmas run in December, check out the tour dates below:
Saturday, August 25th- Circo Voador in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Sunday, August 26th- Cine Theatro Brasil Vallourec in Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Tuesday, August 28th- Area De Eventos Shopping Vila Velha in Vila Velha, Brazil
Thursday, August 30th- Teatro Manauara in Manaus, Brazil
Saturday, September 1st- Grupo Tom Brasil in Sao Paulo, Brazil
Sunday, September 2nd- Toinha Brasil Show in Brasilia, Brazil
Tarja American Tour Dates:
Thursday, September 6th- Patio Theater in Chicago, Illinois
Saturday, September 8th- ProgPower USA in Atlanta, Georgia
Sunday, September 9th- Gramercy Theatre in New York, New York
Friday, September 14th- El Rey in Los Angeles, California
A NORDIC SYMPHONY WITH STRATOVARIUS:
Monday, October 1st- Batschkapp in Frankfurt, Germany
Tuesday, October 2nd- Max Kiel in Kiel, Germany
Wednesday, October 3rd- Capitol Hannover in Hanover, Germany
Friday, October 5th- Substage in Karlsruhe, Germany
Sunday, October 7th- TivoliVredenburg in Utrecht, Netherlands
Tuesday, October 9th- Matrix Bochum in Bochum, Germany
Wednesday, October 10th- Essigfabrik in Cologne, Germany
Thursday, October 11th- Garage Saarbrucken in Saarbrucken, Germany
Saturday, October 13th- Kulturfabrik Kofmehl in Solothurn, Switzerland
Sunday, October 14th- Le Summum in Grenoble, France
Tuesday, October 16th- Orion in Rome, Italy
Wednesday, October 17th- Alcatraz in Milan, Italy
Thursday, October 18th- Backstage Munchen in Munich, Germany
Saturday, October 20th- Music Hall in Innsbruck, Austria
Sunday, October 21st- Forum Karlin in Prague, Czech Republic
Monday, October 22nd- Festsaal Kreuzberg in Berlin, Germany
Wednesday, October 24th- B90 in Gdansk, Poland
Thursday, October 25th- Klub Studio in Krakow, Poland
Friday, October 26th- Reithalle Strasse E in Dresden, Germany
Sunday, October 28th – Barba Negra in Budapest, Hungary
Monday, October 29th- Universaida Hall in Sofia, Bulgaria
CONCERTS FOR A DARK CHRISTMAS:
Tuesday, December 11th- Vystaviste Flora Olomuac a.s. in Olomuac, Czech Republic
Wednesday, December 12th- Filiharmonie Bohuslava Martinu in Zlin, Czech Republic
Thursday, December 13th- Znojmo in Znojmo, Czech Republic
Friday, December 14th- Dolni Vitkovice a Landek Park in Ostrava, Czech Republic
Friday, December 21st- Moscow International House of Music in Moscow, Russia
For tickets and further information on any of the shows listed above, click here.