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At the Cultura Foundation with soprano Varvara Merras-Häyrynen

In late January I started to work on a student opera production at the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. Our ambitious task was to put together a fully staged opera, Tchaikovsky's Evgeny Onegin, with just music students and volunteers (one of my colleagues already called it a "civic opera"). We did not receive much funds, but one of our supporters was the Cultura Foundation. And of course we had to go and perform at their grant giving ceremony.

I had not even touched my cello for a year, but for this occasion I took it out of the case and practiced for a week so that we could perform two songs with the Tatiana of our production, Varvara Merras-Häyrynen. Our Onegin was a big success, by the way! I will write a separate blog entry on that. Now my cello is back in its case and the blisters in my fingers have already healed.

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At the Dubrovnik Bar & Lounge with Lone Star Dreamers a cappella group

That was not the only chance for me to get my hands dirty with "real" music making instead of just waving my baton in front of other musicians. Years ago I used to sing in a doo-wop group called Lone Star Dreamers with my old classmates. After I left they had kept going and were releasing a new album this March. And they wanted to celebrate it with the original line-up! So I joined them on stage for my old bravura number "Zombie Jamboree", despite a beginning laryngitis that for sure made me sound like a zombie myself. What a fun night it was!