MIKE: After the DVD we embarked on 12 more shows in Russia, Czech Rep, Mexico, Lima Peru, Finland, Estonia, Romania and Poland. Of course when you travel you run into all kinds of different barriers: language, mentality, political, but in most cases the experiences of working in foreign countries and working with new artists is a pleasurable and rewarding experience. I think it’s an education you simply cannot buy. It is the real world experiences, which truly shape us into what we ultimately become. The Beauty and the Beat tour was very much unlike most of the rock n roll band tours I have experienced.
We were flying into the cities, and then driven to very nice hotels and we rehearsed in very nice comfortable conditions. The venues were also very beautiful theaters or concert halls. On a rock tour you drive in a bus directly after the show to the next show, but on a tour of this nature we were in each city for 3 days. So after rehearsal you can enjoy the city and relax a little bit before moving on. All of the orchestras and conductors were different, but all of them were brilliant in their on way so this kept things interesting.
TARJA: Touring with Beauty and The Beat was relaxed, but on the other hand also hard work. We traveled a lot between the cities and countries and always had two days of rehearsals with each orchestra before the concert. I had to keep on training my voice during this tour, since the program was a real challenge to me and I had to keep focus in my singing technique.
The rehearsal days were usually really long and meanwhile we were also doing promotion, interviews and signing sessions. So touring doesn’t only mean concerts.
In Romania unfortunately I got really sick and we needed to postpone the concert a couple of weeks even though we tried until the last minute to make the show as planned. It is very hard for me to keep myself healthy all the time and especially if I am performing classical music, there is no way for me to sing the program properly if I get something as mild as flu. During rock tours, I have sang several times while being sick without audience even realizing it, but classical concerts are different and require vocally more from me.
Otherwise the tour with Beauty and The Beat was really a wonderful experience. I learned enormously from working with different orchestras, choirs and conductors. Also the fact that we always performed in beautiful, big theatres or concert halls, made us feel happy that we could reach many people to listen to us.
TARJA: Our main goal with these kinds of concerts is that the younger audience experiences the beauty and power of a symphonic orchestra and choir. Hopefully it will serve as an introduction to classical music for some of our fans.
MIKE: We hope that the release of the DVD will help to promote the concept of fusing rock and classical music together. It is really music for the masses and for all ages, so I think it should appeal to a very large part of the music listening population. We also hope to play many more concerts all over the world.
MIKE: Recording the Beauty and the Beat DVD was a great memory! We met a lot of nice people along the way and made many new friends in far away places. I love working with Tarja, it’s always a great pleasure. I would also like to thank her for the opportunity and for trusting me to play with her in this classical musical environment. I think of myself mainly as a rock drummer so I must say that this DVD has become a millstone in my career. I am very proud and honored to be a part of it and to have done something new, fresh and exciting.
TARJA: I have only great memories from this experience. I am very happy that we worked hard to make this DVD happen, because in the end it shows that it was worth it. The concert looks and sounds good and we all can be proud of it. I hope we can continue making people happy with music, same way as music makes us happy every day.