Estonian National Opera’s new, 2017/2018 season
Estonian National Opera will start the 2017/2018 season on 8 September with the performance of “Giselle”. Rasmus Puur’s brand new opera “The Colours of Clouds” based on Jaan Kruusvall’s play of the same name will premiere in September as the first new production. The opera raises the question of who Estonia’s freedom was restored for when everyone yearns to go abroad even now. As the autumn season’s main ballet event, the Estonian National Ballet will bring to the viewers Nancy Meckler, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and Peter Salem’s ballet “A Streetcar Named Desire” based on Tennessee Williams’ play of the same name. The leading role was made famous in 2012 in the Scottish Ballet by an Estonian ballerina Eve Mutso. From 17 to 26 November, the Estonian National Opera will be giving guest performances in Tampere-talo, Helsinki Aleksanterin Theatre and Helsinki Musiikkitalo as part of the festival “Estonia and Finland 200”. The important events of the two republics lead to joint activities on both sides of the bay. Estonia will be showing Delibes’ ballet “Coppélia”, Vinter and Raudmäe’s musical “Pippi Longstocking”, Tubin’s ballet “The Goblin”, Verdi’s opera “La traviata”, Puur’s opera “The Colours of Clouds”, as well as organising concerts for babies and several fascinating educational projects. On 14 December, the Estonian National Opera Boys’ Choir will bring on stage in the chamber hall exciting stories about the choirboys’ adventures. Andres Lemba’s musical performance “Chestnuts From the Fire or The Tales of the National Opera Boys’ Choir” will only be given on three days this year. Furthermore, in December, you can once again enjoy Raggie’s adorable adventures in the children’s play “Raggie and Old-Timey Things” (“Sipsik ja vana aja asjad”) and in January, experience the seductive vibrations of jazz rhythms in “Jazz-Ballet Club”. The holiday period also offers the traditional Christmas concert “Estonian National Opera Christmas Concert” at the St. John’s Church in Tallinn on 21 December and the New Year’s Eve Ball, celebrating its 25th anniversary is carried by ethnic motives.
The New Year begins with a co-produced play meant to rattle the historic memory of Estonians – “The History of Estonia. A Nation Born of Shock” (“Eesti ajalugu. Ehmatusest sündinud rahvas”), a gift from the Estonian National Opera in collaboration with the Kanuti Gild’s SAAL given to the Republic of Estonia on the occasion of its birthday. The opera, based on accidentally discovered fragments of Manfred MIM’s music, premiers on 19 January in the Estonian National Opera. The concert of Estonian music “Happy Birthday, Estonia!” taking place on 3 February in the concert hall of the opera house is the precursor for the “Estonian Theatre in the Estonian National Opera” festival, which will be taking place from 10 to 20 February and bringing to the stage a selection of music by Estonian composers. The festival culminates on 15 February with the concert production “Estonian Celebration”, which involves the entire theatre building. Lembitu, Saare Juhan, Olav, Erna, Cyrano, the Goblin and many other important and unique characters from Estonian cultural history will be meeting on the stage. During the Republic’s birthday month, we will be visited by our neighbours from the Latvian National Opera, bringing us Leo Mujic’s ballet “Scheherazade” to the music of Rimski-Korsakov and Kodály (27 February), an Opera and Ballet Gala (28 February), and Verdi’s opera “Nabucco” (1 March).
A new original ballet “Catherine I” will grace the stages on 15 March as the spring season’s main ballet event. It tells the tale of the incredible romance between a simple Estonian girl and the charismatic Russian emperor Peter I through Toomas Edur and Tauno Aints’ colourful fantasies. On 29 April, Estonian National Opera will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of Estonian ballet with an International Dance Day ballet gala. On 26 May, jolly characters come to life and Olav Ehala’s beloved songs can be heard on the stage of the National Opera in the musical “Buratino”.
The 112th season will be closed by guest performances by the Lithuanian National Opera from 5 to 7 June.
This season, the travel bug will carry Estonia further than ever before: performing Tubin’s ballet “Goblin” (“Kratt”), Händel’s opera “Rinaldo”, and an opera gala at the St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre on 23–25 October; the Latvian National Opera will hold performances of Tubin’s ballet “The Goblin” from 27 February to 1 March, an Opera and Ballet Gala, as well as Hindemith’s opera “Cardillac” and the Lithuanian National Opera stages will see Tubin’s ballet “The Goblin”, Gounoud’s opera “Faust”, and Ochoa/Meckler/Salem’s ballet “A Streetcar Named Desire” from 15 to 17 May.