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Dear readers, this is the blog of the Mirjam Helin International Singing Competition Shadow Jury. The big arduous toil of the jury, competition officials, pianists, the shadow jury and of course the singers is now ahead, starting on Monday – although much work has already been done behind the scenes.

We, the Shadow Jury are a novel addition in this competition: we will be present at all events of the competition. We will update this blog, tweet and comment the competition in various media, for example the YLE webcasts. First and foremost, we are here at the service of the audience, in order to provide a viewpoint of young professional musicians and to explain the oddities of music competitions: each and every one of us has personal experience from various singing competitions. Being at the service of the audience means also that the public is cordially invited to make comments and ask questions: there is the comment facility of this blog, Twitter and YLE net streaming shoutbox at your disposal – or you can simply stop us for a chat at the competition venues!

The Shadow Jury is not ”the Jury”: we have no say in who wins, and we also get no insider information from the Jury whatsoever. What we write or say in public will be our own personal opinions and our own guesses, and it might very well be that we turn out to be fallible. At this point it is a bit early to make any bets or give hints about the possible winners, but it will certainly be extremely interesting to see how singers I know will fare in the competition. Pardon my provinciality, but I can’t help hoping for the best for Finnish singers: it might be a bit more difficult to concentrate, given the attention local media will focus on our ”own” competitors, but don’t let the pressure get to you!

Jenni Lättilä

Jenni Lättilä is a Finnish soprano whose natural habitat encompasses both operatic and concert stages, as well as academic circles, but she prefers spending her leisure time in the silent Finnish forests with her beagles. Jenni is doing her best to break every possible ”opera diva” stereotype, but still can’t help loving high heeled designer shoes passionately.