Friday, 21 August 2009

Interview: Tarja Turunen - Anna, August 2009 (English Translation)

Love carried Tarja Turunen to the other side of the world, in Argentina. In Buenos Aires the singer forgets the work and enjoy's the city's spirit.

Who is she?
Tarja Turunen

Singer Tarja Turunen, 31, became the soloist of the metal band Nightwish (1996-2005). Turunen was born in Kitee and studied classical church music at the Sibelius Academy and classical music at the music university in Karlsruhe, Germany.
Buenos Aires became Turunen's second home in the year 2000, when she fell in love with Marcelo Cabuli, 39, during Nightwish's tour in South America. Buenos Aires became officially her home town, and she started to spend from a couple of weeks to a couple of months there, depending on the time.
She now prepares for the 2010 release of her second album, What Lies Beneath. The first album, My Winter Storm, was released in 2007, and Tarja made frequent visits from Buenos Aires with her husband-manager to their second home in Kuusankoski, and to many other european cities.

Like being in Europe
I like watching everything that is old and beautiful. Buildings must be the story. Argentina's and Buenos Aires' history is long. It would be wonderful to go back in time and see how people lived, for example, in the golden time of tango, in the 1930's and 1940's.
Buenos Aires is really Europe-like. The architecture is beautiful, without feeling like you're walking in Paris. I like the buildings in general. All of the eye sensitizes beauty. Especially the national waterworks are unbelievably wonderful, just amazing. It has a special tone and was built in 1984. They should clean it some day.

Rivadavia's Park
Inner peace
I visit Rivadavia's park on my morning runs. If I don't run here, I run to the gym. This is our homepark. I also come here sometimes to read a book.
The park is so big, that it quiets down the noise of the city. Before this was in a bad condition, but now it has been restored. The park around the Cabalito residencial area is warm and popular amongst the common Buenos Aires people. Caballito is home, this is where I al all the time. The regions is among everything, every place has good connections.

City Center
Urban Greenery
In my carrer I have seen a lot of major South-American cities, and Buenos Aires is one of the most beautiful. For me, this is a home where I feel comfortable. In this city there is a lot of charisma, melancholy, combined with human, close-to-the-nature-persons and freedom of mind.
You'll always get a smile and "good day" -wish.
Right at the beginning I noticed how green it is and how many trees there are along the streets. I love the center, the big parks and green spaces.
Our life is more peaceful here than in Finland, because we stay here longer because of the long distances. In Europe there are more work expenses, more travelling because of work, even though life in big city is more hectic.
Understanding the language has opened up a culture in depth. I am happy and proud of Argentina and these people. I get rid of my work pressures in here. Problems are different. Lines are long and taking care of things takes long time. You can't plan your day ahead.

Metro busses
A metro line is passing right near our home. I think that this is the world's oldest functioning metro. It creaks and sounds like "ii-uu, ii-uu" and the doors must be opened by oneself. The wooden wagons are a pleasure to see. they are so old and nice, and they are still working. The metro seems unreal, like in a movie. My first confrontation with it was a good, wonderful shock, to see how the city has been. Many of the stations are painted and decorated in an old style. New metro lines lack originality.

Cabana Las Lilas
Steak and red wine
Las Lilas has been my favorite restaurant in the last 9 years. I always book tables here and come with Marcelo, and we always eat very well. The meat doesnt get better than here. I don't eat a lot, and the little I eat, I eat when I'm in Argentina. I like toasted meat on the grill. And red wine. There are very many high quality wines in Argentina. It is wonderful, how the supermarkets are full with red wine!
Coming to Las Lilas is always special. You can get true barbecue meat, though there is other (food) on the menu too. Self-made bread and appetizers are always served on every table and they are lovely. The wooden tables are stunning.

Shopping center
Sensual clothes world
There are great clothing designers in Argentina. Here you can find all kinds of clothes. The local fashion is sensual, but the tone of colors is strong. In Finland the colors are more restrained.
When I came in this city for the first time, I paid special attention to some lovely underwear. The boutique culture is strong, you can find treasures from them.
Patio Bullrich is a lovely, big shopping center, where you can find international main lable imports and local designers stores. I wear a lot [clothes by] Maria Vazquez, Ricky Sarkany and Claudia Larreta. As a choice, there are many movements and nice cafes.

Palermo soho
Colorful rustification
The real Buenos Aires means for me small, low structures for living. Palermo soho is a region of beautiful, old, and genuine Buenos Aires. I could walk there the whole day!
Palermo Viejo has increased a lot in recent years. Palermo oho has become a bohemian fashion- and design area. The are has become more new.
In Sohos there are many beautiful things. One house is red, the next one is yellow and green. Everything old has been left behind. The houses are low and there no flats.
I often walk around in here for hours, I'll get some fresh air. These boutiques are wonderful, since the frontage is allowed to look like anything. I go shopping together with Marcelo. He is a good shopper and has good taste, and is aware of clothes that fit you.

The River shore
Changing the view
The former storage area of the Puerto Madero was built throughout the period of a few. This area is outside the center, but modern and growing, interesting from the tourisms point of wiew. Daytime visits, like running or jogging, is a good time to admire what was done here. Not long ago, this area was full of mills and storage facilities, but now there are many restaurants and chich places. The development has been really fast.
If I come here with Marcelo during the evening traffic, we often stop to eat sausages or hot dogs on the river beach.

Note: I just translated this interview with Tarja. Credit for the original text goes to the Finnish "Anna" magazine(August issue), for the scans goes to Afrodite, and the [many] translation mistakes were corrected by Orion.


  1. I am Argentinian living in UK and a tear runs down my cheek by reading about so many familiar places, described by someone from abroad. She might feel as I feel now in UK.

  2. I´m an expat living in Argentina and I totally feel the same way about food. I never tried the restaurant Las Lilas but I´m gonna. I´m staying in different buenos aires apartments and I agree that meat and wine are the two fine things you can find here in terms of food. Mendoza (a province) has the best vineyards and you can even tour there if you want they will show you how they do it. I love this country as much as Tarja!