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SEB audience awards were given to Juuli Lill and René Soom

26.03.2014 / Ülla Veerg

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On 26 March, the Gold Sponsor of the Estonian National Opera, SEB Bank handed over awards to the opera soloists chosen by the audience. Favourite soloists of 2014 were Juuli Lill and René Soom, who both get a prize of 1300 EUR.

Juuli Lill has studied singing at Saint Petersburg Conservatory (1999–2001) with Prof. Iraida Levanda and at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre (2001–2005) with Prof. Mati Palm. She obtained her MA from the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre in 2009 (the singing class of Prof. Mati Palm). In 2004–2006 she studied at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna with Leopold Spitzer and has attended the master classes of Gotcha Bezutshvili in Thbilisi and Lucy Arner and Ira Siff in New York. Juuli Lill is the soloist of the Estonian National Opera since 2006. Her repertoire includes Carmen and Mercédès (Bizet’s “Carmen”), Brangäne (Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde”), Cornelia (Händel’s “Julius Caesar”), Siébel (Gounod’s “Faust”), Tchaikovsky’s Filipyevna and Olga (“Eugene Onegin”) and Countess (“The Queen of Spades”); Verdi’s Maddalena and Giovanna (Verdi’s “Rigoletto”), Annina (“La traviata”), Ulrica (“Un ballo in maschera”), Lisetta (Haydn’s “Il mondo della luna”), Tisbe (Rossini’s “La Cenerentola”), Smeraldina (Prokofiev’s “The Love for Three Oranges”), Tangolita (Ábrahám’s “Ball im Savoy”), Singer (Puccini’s “Manon Lescaut”), Alonso Quijana’s Housekeeper (Leigh’s “Man ofLa Mancha”), Third Diplomat (Tüür’s “Wallenberg”), Journalist (Vihmand’s “The Formula of Love”), etc. She has sung the soloist parts in large scale works, performed at recitals and participated in the productions of Nargen Opera.

René Soom has studied classical singing at the Georg Ots Tallinn Music School (1995–1999, Prof H. Eerik). In 2001–2004 he continued his studies at the Estonian Academy of Music (Prof. Virgilijus Noreika and Jaakko Ryhänen) and in 2004–2008 he obtained his Master’s Degree with Jaakko Ryhänen. He has also participated in the master-classes of Hartmut Höll, Rudolf Piernay and Gerhard Kahry. Since 1997 René Soom is engaged at the Estonian National Opera and since 2005 he is a soloist. His roles at the Estonian National Opera include Eugene Onegin (Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin”), Don Quixote (Leigh’s “Man of La Mancha”), Silvio (Leoncavallo’s “Pagliacci”), Schaunard (Puccini’s “La bohème”), Aristide de Faublas (Ábrahám’s “Ball im Savoy”), Edwin and Boni (Kálmán’s “Die Csárdásfürstin”), Wolfram (Wagner’s “Tannhäuser”), Dandini (Rossini’s “Cinderella”), Achillas (Händel’s “Julius Caesar”),John Canto (Pajusaar’s “The Prince and the Pauper”), Juss (Raadik/Kerge’s “The Truth and Justice of Vargamäe”), Ben (Menotti’s “The Telephone”), Morales (Bizet’s “Carmen”), Sacristan (Puccini’s “Tosca”), Captain Castel-Jaloux (Tamberg’s “Cyrano de Bergerac”), General Junot and Old Man (Kaumann’s “Me – Napoleon!”), Tanner (Tubin’s “Barbara von Tisenhusen”), Ottokar (Weber’s “Der Freischütz”), Baron Douphal (Verdi’s “La traviata”), the Second Guest/American General (E.-S. Tüür’s “Wallenberg”), Marullo (Verdi’s “Rigoletto”), Henry Higgins (Loewe’s “My Fair Lady”), Chucho Santelmo (Vihmand’s “The Formula of Love”), Leuthold (Rossini’s “Guillaume Tell”), Anonymous (Tammsaare’s drama “Judith”), etc. He has also sung Papageno at the Estonian Music and Theatre Academy’s production of Mozart’s “Die Zauberflöte” and the role of Father in Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel”.

René Soom has been active also beyond the home theatre. As a guest performer he has sung at Theatre Vanemuine, cooperated with the Pärnu City Orchestra and the Opera-Quartet. He has participated in KaivConcort’s opera performances, such as Orff’s “Der Mond” and Bizet’s “Carmen”. In 2006 he received the Marje and Kulder Sink “Young Singer” Award, in 2009 the Harjumaa Theatre Prize and in 2012 the Georg Ots Prize.

Since 1998 he is the member of the drama troupe “Varius” and has given performances in Sweden, the U.S. and Canada. René Soom has also performed successfully as a chamber singer on several stages.

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