Monday, September 25, 2006

Arja can swing it!

An article about Arja Koriseva appears in today's Iltalehti:

The following translation is not approved by Iltalehti, but I'm hoping they don't mind:

Arja Koriseva pulls in packed houses at the Seinäjoki City Theatre even though her baby is due in a scant two months.

- Nothing much has changed, says Arja Koriseva says of her September performances as Maria in the Sound of Music at the Seinäjoki City Theatre.

Arja is expecting a baby , but that has not stopped her from singing and dancing to the full in her role.

- Certainly I don't climb to the top of the tree any more, because I have to jump down again. The shock would not be good. End I don't dance so wildly on the sofa. Normal running steps on the other hand are no difficulty, she explains.

And so Arja does. The audience at the Seinäjoki City Theatre get to see the same energetic performance that they always did. They sigh now and then: how does Arja do it?

Most changes in the show have been to Arja's costumes. The slim-waisted Maria has had to have her clothes let out a bit. But they suit her, and the audience goes along with it.

When Arja Koriseva first steps onto the stage as Maria, climbs the tree and sits on a branch, the audience is moved. And remains so for the entire performance.

Arja's voice is soft and full of drama as she sings the familiar songs of the Sound of Music.
- Although the hundredth performance is coming up, the songs move as intensively as ever, Arja says.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Golden Earrings

Kultaiset korvarenkaat, or Golden Earrings, was Arja Koriseva's first big hit, which she sang in a lyrical dreamy style. She includes a more raunchy version in her repertoire today. It is the first track on Kaija Pohjola's Tangokuningatar DVD, and is frequently heard at the Tangomarkkinat. Ailamari Vehviläinen sang it in the 2004 finals.

I have now tracked down the original version. It is the theme song from the 1947 film Golden Earrings, set in Germany in the late 1930's. British spy Ray Milland escapes from the Gestapo, and he manages to complete his mission and escape with the help of gypsy wench Marlene Dietrich.

There does not appear to be any British version currently available on DVD. I got a Dutch version from Ebay. The audio is English and sleeve notes are in Dutch. There are subtitiles in a number of languages, including Fins, Hongaars, Pools, and my particular favourite, Zweeds.