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110th anniversary of the Estonian National Opera Orchestra and Chorus

30.01.2017 / Stina Vürmer

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On 18 February, Estonian National Opera and Chorus celebrate their 110th anniversary with a concert of series “Golden classics”. The programme comprises Beethoven’s Mass in C major, Op. 86 and Bruckner’s Symphony No. 3. The conductor is Vello Pähn and the soloists Elena Brazhnik (soprano), Aule Urb (mezzo-soprano), Oliver Kuusik (tenor) and Märt Jakobson (Vanemuine Theatre, bass). Chamber Choir Voces Musicales will also participate.

Estonian National Opera was founded in 1906 and is the home for the Estonian National Opera Orchestra, formed in 1907. Its first music director was Otto Herman, who started also organising symphony concerts. The first concert was held on March 5, 1907. Otto Hermann was succeeded by the chief conductors Adalbert Wirkhaus, Raimund Kull, Verner Nerep, Priit Nigula, Kirill Raudsepp, Neeme Järvi, Eri Klas, Paul Mägi, Jüri Alperten and Arvo Volmer. Since August 2012 the Artistic Director and Chief Conductor is Vello Pähn. In addition to the regular opera and ballet performances, the orchestra has performed with different concert programs of symphonic works. It has cooperated with a number of outstanding soloists, such as José Cura, Christian Lindberg, Isabella van Keulen, Montserrat Caballe, Alexander Markovich, etc. Arvo Volmer brought to life a series of concert performances of operas and altogether 18 masterpieces have been performed. There have been recordings of CDs and DVDs.

The Estonian National Opera Chorus is a professional high-level mixed chorus. Throughout its history, the chorus has been a part of dozens of opera, operetta and musical performances, the most popular of which have also been performed abroad. The following outstanding musicians have worked with the chorus: August Topman, Verner Nerep, Tiiu Targama, Kaja Tammemägi, Ira Trilljärv, Uno Järvela, Venno Laul, Peeter Lilje, Anne Dorbek, Jüri Rent, Elmo Tiisvald, Risto Joost, Hirvo Surva and Marge Mehilane. Since autumn 2013 the Chorus Master is Elmo Tiisvald. Apart from taking part in theatre’s performances, a significant portion of the chorus’s work also consists of giving concerts and recording music. Estonian National Opera Chorus won the annual Estonia Theatre Award 2010 for professional interpretation of the musically and dramaturgically demanding part in Prokofiev’s opera “The Love for Three Oranges”. In 2013 the chorus recorded with the orchestra of the Estonian National Opera a CD “Verdi and Wagner – the Most Famous Opera Choruses” to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the two great composers.
Organised by Eesti Kontsert.

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