100 years of Estonian opera - A reason to celebrate

  • 2005-08-31
  • By Ksenia Repson
TALLINN - The Estonian National Opera's upcoming season promises to be very special. This year, the troupe at the "Estonia" celebrate their 100th birthday 's precisely one century ago, they began acting as a professional theater company and to celebrate, the opera has a unique schedule lined up.

The season kicked off on Aug. 27 with numerous open-air performances across the country and a big fair near the main opera building in Tallinn. Neither rain nor wind could disperse the hundreds of opera fans that day. The day's events saw one guest purchase a stunning black tutu that legendary prima ballerina Kaie Korb had worn on stage 222 times. Others spectators took in the events and simply attended in order to catch tantalizing previews of upcoming premieres.

This year's repertoire will be fascinating as always, but because of the anniversary, even more so. Classical and contemporary art lovers of all ages are sure to be pleased with this year's range of productions. Because this autumn will see the final phase of the restoration, many concerts and performances will be held on other stages throughout Tallinn this fall and winter season- huge sport halls and small and cozy chamber placements will see performances until December. Paul Himma, director of Estonian National Opera, invites audiences to a special gala opening of the renovated hall on Dec. 15, where a production of G. Puccini's "Tosca" will be performed in honor of the re-opening of the grand old "Estonia."

Don't wait. There is no need to sit patiently until the December re-opening of the "Estonia" to admire the talents of local and foreign opera stars. To open the new season on Sept. 8, an all-star cast will perform Verdi's "Othello" at Coral Sports Arena. Famous and beloved soloists Oksana Dyka, Jelena Zelenskaya, Badri Maisuradze, Sergei Nayda, and Sergei Leiferkus will perform in this unlikely location to mark what is sure to be the best season ever.

Booking information and the complete repertoire are available at www.opera.ee.