Yesterday, on the morning of the opening of Finland’s big Beethoven festival, Johanna Rusanen called in sick with acute bronchitis. Unable to find another soprano in Helsinki, the festival phoned the experienced Erika Sunnegårdh at her home in Vienna.
Her flight took off at 1430.
She arrived at the Helsinki Music Center – with her dog, Maestro, in tow – exactly ten minutes before the performance began. Pausing only for a quick glance at the tempi of ”Abscheulicher” with conductor Hannu Lintu, she got into costume, came onstage and sang a tremendous Leonore.
Big hand for Erika.