IRONWOOD - It's been a "whirlwind" year for Bessemer native Miles Mykkanen.
While working towards his master's degree in music with an emphasis in vocal performance at The Juilliard School, Mykkanen has made his solo performance debuts at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall in New York. He also worked with famed American soprano Renée Fleming in an internationally broadcasted master class.
In addition, Mykkanen also sang lead in Juilliard opera's critically acclaimed production of Tchaikovsky's "Eugene Onegin," and this winter will appear in a PBS "Great Performances" documentary about American singers.
"It's been a whirlwind year," Mykkanen said. "It's thrilling and I am completely blessed to have so many opportunities. I hit a new stride this year."
Despite his busy schedule, Mykkanen will be performing at the Historic Ironwood Theatre on Sunday in the annual Pine Mountain Music Festival.
According to Mykkanen, this performance will be different from other performances he's done in Ironwood.
"At Juilliard, I've been studying opera and classical singing for the past six years," he said. "During this performance, I am going to be focused on the songs I've learned at school."
During the performance, Mykkanen will be singing songs in six different languages - English, German, French, Norwegian, Russian and Finnish.
"This is my first time singing Finnish, and being a Finnish-American, I've very excited," Mykkanen said.
In addition to the more classical selections, Mykkanen said he will also be performing some "lighter pieces," including showtunes and cabaret songs
"It will be a versatile evening," he said.
What Mykkanen hopes people will get out of the show is the stories from the songs he performs. He described singing as story telling.
"Everyone enjoys a story, and being wrapped up in the story or fairy tale," Mykkanen said. "That is what singing is. It's story telling. I know some people might be turned off by the opera and classical music, but they should come and try it out."
The show is set for 7:30 p.m. After the show there will be a reception for people to speak with Mykkanen.
Mykkanen will graduate from Juilliard in May and hopes to do a young artists' apprenticeship with an opera company either in the U.S. or in Europe.
The one thing Mykkanen is most excited about his performance, is performing for his hometown friends and family.
"This is the Pine Mountain Music Festival's 24th season, and this season is all about bringing old friends back," Mykkanen said. "I'm so excited. I hope people will come out to the show. I love performing for my family and friends, and it's not something I get to do very often."
For more information about the show, or to purchase tickets, call the Historic Ironwood Theatre box office at 906-932-0618 or visit ironwoodtheatre.net.
To learn more about Miles Mykkanen, visit milesmykkanentenor.com.