Nightwish fandom has changed the life of Andrea Schnidrig, an Argentinian biologist and science teacher. She has even named her favourite puma after Tuomas Holopainen, and the nature conservation project in her work after a Nightwish song. Andrea is one of the fans that participated in the Yle documentary To Nightwish with Love.
Even after ten years, Argentinian Andrea Schnidrig still remembers her first experience with Nightwish very clearly. When she came home one day, her son was watching a music video on TV.
“I watched Tarja Turunen singing Phantom of the Opera and I was hypnotised. I couldn’t even move. At that very moment, I fell in love with the music of Nightwish.”
The more Andrea listened to the music of Nightwish, the more congruence she found between the music and her own life.
“To me, the music of Nightwish represents my own inner world. My sorrows and my sources of joy. They have been put into songs and live on through them.”
Through her fandom, she feels she assimilates into the band and through that experience, she returns to a new kind of a world.
“After that, the world just isn’t the same as before.”
Andrea works as a science teacher in her home town of Córdoba in Southern Argentina. Because of her education, she has been especially impressed by the science and nature references in the songs of Tuomas Holopainen.
“In the lyrics of the album Endless Forms Most Beautiful, I can hear things that come from science. What he says about Darwin or Richard Dawkins is incredible, I think. These science references really touch me. It combines my two loves: my love for music and my love for science.”
In Argentina, vast original natural areas have vanished in the recent years. A large part of the mountain and forest areas in the country have been destroyed. Andrea felt a strong need to do something about it and thought it was her duty to tell her students that reality can be changed.
With her colleagues and students, she decided to do two projects. In one of them, they study animals living in captivity and protest against keeping wild animals as mascots.
“When the students visit the Pumacawa Animal Sanctuary, they are told about the value of life. In addition to this, they get to hear the stories of different animals and the struggle to rescue them.”
Andrea wanted to name one of the pumas born in the animal sanctuary after Tuomas Holopainen of Nightwish. To her, it was her way of expressing her love for the band.
“Tuomas the Puma has the most beautiful gaze in the world, just like Tuomas of Nightwish. Tuomas the Puma is also very alert. He is a little bit restless and moves around and jumps all the time. In my opinion, he is also very reserved.”
She has also named her other project with her students after her Nightwish inspiration. Andrea built greenhouses with her students for growing tiny sprouts of mountain plants into saplings . The goal of the project is to get all the schools in Argentina to participate and, step by step, build their own winter gardens.
“In this way, we can repair the damage humans have caused to nature.”
The project was named after the Nightwish song Ever Dream, “Sueño eterno” in Spanish.
“The energy emanating from the song directly reflects to our project. The goal of the whole project is to plant a thousand trees in areas where all the trees have been destroyed. We hope to create new life in these areas.”
Hundreds of fans from more than 50 countries participated in the making of the documentary To Nightwish with Love.
The global online premiere of the documentary is 20 August at 2 p.m. at yle.fi/tonightwish
After the premiere, you can watch it in Yle Areena online.
The documentary will be broadcasted on the Yle Teema channel 28 August.
Text translated by Katja Juutistenaho