The 115th season of the Estonian National Opera has opened with the Vana Tallinn Gala, which was dedicated to the 180th anniversary of the birth of composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky and featured performances from mezzo-soprano Juuli Lill, baritone Tamar Nugis, violinist Mari Poll, clarinetist Edmunds Altmanis, bass Ain Angeri, tenor Juhan Tralla, soprano Mirjam Mesaki (Bavarian State Opera) and other young Estonian singers.
For more than a century now, the talented vocalists and musicians here at the National Opera have been wowing audiences and making their own unique contribution to perpetuating Estonian culture,” remarked Arvo Volmer, the institution’s creative director and chief conductor. “With the Vana Tallinn Gala we’ve now opened our 115th season, our main aim as ever being to offer audiences unforgettable experiences.”
The concert showcased Tchaikovsky’s best-known works from the operas Yevgeny Onegin, The Maid of Orleans, The Queen of Spades and Iolanta and music from the ballets Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake. Pieces by Mozart, Strauss and Wagner were also performed.
“Culture needs support from the private sector if it’s to survive and thrive, and it’s Liviko’s great honour to be the major sponsor of the Estonian National Opera for the ninth season running,” said Liviko CEO Janek Kalvi. “Together we’ve also made it a tradition to kick off the season with a gala event at the heart of which are the undisputed classics of classical music performed by some of the brightest stars from the world of opera.”
The Vana Tallinn Gala, which was held this year for the eighth time, is a keenly anticipated event among opera lovers. It is organised by the Estonian National Opera in cooperation with its major sponsor, Liviko. Audiences in Southern Estonia also got to experience the gala on Saturday when true classics were performed on the stage of the Vanemuine Theatre in Tartu.
In addition to its sponsorship of opera, Liviko contributes to the promotion of Estonian culture by supporting the Art Museum of Estonia, the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, the Estonian Artists’ Association, the book competition of the Estonian Writers’ Union and a number of other cultural events.
Photos: Rene Lutterus & Rasmus Kooskora