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November and December bring excellent guests on the opera stage

On November 28 and December 27 the U.S. tenor Michael Wade Lee stars as Alfredo in Verdi’s “La traviata”. Critics have described Lee as “…that rarity among operatic tenors, a really good-looking, virile, well-built and gifted thespian with a wide-ranging voice to match”. The timeless opera classics “La traviata” has become one of the most beloved operas in the whole world. It is also one of the most frequently performed operas at the Estonian National Opera to which the audience has applauded in seven premieres within nearly a hundred years. With the performance on December 20, Estonian National Opera celebrates the 80th anniversary of an Estonian tenor Hendrik Krumm.

On November 22 and December 18, Don José in Bizet’s “Carmen” will be sung by a Canadian tenor Luc Robert, whom the critics have labelled as “a gold treasure from Canada”. On December 18, he will be partnered by Stella Grigorian as Carmen – Grigorian is a passionate and charming mezzo-soprano from Georgia. There are still some tickets available for the performance on December 18, whereas the performance in November is sold out.

December 4 and 6 feature Wagner’s “Tannhäuser” with Alexander Schulz in the title role and Aile Asszonyi in the double role of Elisabeth and Venus. The staging by a British director Daniel Slater won the annual Estonian Theatre Award 2013 in the category of The Best Production.

Opera “Snegurochka” for the first time in Estonia

On 19 November Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Snegurochka” continues Estonian National Opera’s successful series of concert performances of operas, being 14th on the list. The opera will be conducted by the artistic director and chief conductor Vello Pähn. The soloists of the concert are Evgeniya Sotnikova from Bavarian State Opera, Maxim Paster from the Bolshoi Theatre, Yaroslava Kozina from Belarussia, Rauno Elp, Olga Zaitseva, Juuli Lill, Pavlo Balakin, Andres Köster, Yana Boiko from Ukraine and Vladislav Horuzhenko.

Rimsky-Korsakov has repeatedly remarked: “”Snegurochka” is my best work ever!” The opera enchants with colourful and poetic musical depictions of nature and masterful arrangements of folk tunes. The fairy-tale deals with the opposition of realistic and fantastic forces, the invigorating power of nature is praised and the reign of winter is ended. The events of the opera take place in the pre-historic times, in a fairyland, where injustice is unknown and the unanimous people are ruled by the wise and nature-loving Tsar Berendey. All would be fine, if the Sun God Yarilo would not be jealous for the love of Spring Beauty and Grandfather Frost and their daughter Snegurochka. Yarilo refuses the Berendeyans his warming and invigorating sun rays and therefore the country is reigned by eternal winter. Snegurochka is enchanted by the songs of the shepherd Lel that reach her in the depths of the forest and make her long for life in the village. Her parents grant her permission to go live with the humans. There, a young tradesman Mizgir falls in love with her, but Snegurochka has her father’s icy heart that does not understand human feelings – she is incapable of falling in love. Spring gives her daughter a magic garland that awakes love in her heart and warns her to stay out of the light of the sun. Being free of her iciness, she is now vulnerable to Yarilo’s sun rays – she melts and dies. With the death of Snegurochka, the reign of frost in the land of Berendeyans is over, the sun rises again and Yarilo has taken the country under his protection.

Of Rimsky-Korsakov’s operas, “The Tsar’s Bride” was performed on the concert stage in 2011.

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