A performance is not good, if there is no stage fright. One just has to select the right time for it – either just before or right after the performance, but preferably not during it! Getting the timing right is difficult, but one can learn it.

-Vilho Kekkonen (100 year old tenor)

And then there’s this (same article):

The border skirmish was of course a full-blown and rather bloody 105-day war between Finland and the Soviet Union, during which an incident happened that was to remain one of the strongest memories in Kekkonen’s life.
He had been ordered as a messenger between the front line and company headquarters, while Russian paratroopers who had been dropped in the area were lurking in ambush in the tree-tops.
His fellow-soldier was shot in his sleigh, and Kekkonen feared that he himself would encounter the same fate.
So he decided to put his faith in his best weapon – singing.
”I was riding on a horse-drawn sleigh in the moonlight and singing Lenski’s Aria from Tchaikovsky’s opera Eugene Onegin, and I survived. It is the highest fee I have ever been paid for one song”, Kekkonen recalls.

1 Comment

  1. I love this story! And the way he refers to his wife as “this girl”…

    What a great image: him riding his sleigh singing Lenski’s aria at night.