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Estonia theatre hall seats 800 after renovation
Estonian National Opera starts its 110th season on 26 August in a renovated theatre hall. Following the modification works of technical booths and the extension of the first balcony completed in the summer, the theatre hall has 800 seats instead of 700.
“The modern sound and stage lighting technology do not require that much space as was planned for the first balcony in the 70s. We also lost the central box that was built in the Soviet era and seemed like a foreign body,” said Aivar Mäe, the General Manager of the theatre. “Every cubic metre won enhances the acoustics and if we add the renewed cooling system of the theatre hall, even the most demanding visitor should be pleased,” Mäe explained.
In addition to modernizing the rooms, the theatre also acquired a new communications system for the audience service staff, in order to ensure high-quality two-way communication during performances throughout the house.
The new sound and lighting technology and rack control centre will significantly improve the servicing level of performances.
The renovation works of the hall and performance technology cost approximately 700,000 euros in total. Liivi Künnapuu prepared the special conditions for heritage conservation to allow for modification works of the first balcony and Juta Lember designed the balcony.
The season will open with the operetta “Circus Princess” on 26 August. On the same day, a sale of special-priced tickets will begin and last until the end of Estonia’s theatre fair on 6 September. Between 10 and 13 September, the Estonia theatre bus will bring theatre lovers to Tallinn from Narva, Viljandi and Pärnu, and the first new production – ballet “The Goblin” – will premiere on 18 September.
Estonian National Opera opened the 110th season at the President’s rose garden
On 13 August, the Estonian National Opera took two special trams to Kadriorg to celebrate the beginning of the 110th season. President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, who invited the people over, has been the theatre’s patron since 2006.
“The Estonia Theatre is closely knit with the turning points of our history – the idea of statehood was also concocted by our own intellectuals between the very walls of this theatre. While placing a corner stone to Estonia Theatre in 1910, a corner stone was actually placed to Estonian statehood,” said President Toomas Hendrik Ilves in his welcoming speech to the theatre company.
At the rose garden, congratulations were extended to those who had graduated from universities, had married or had had a baby; and the departed were commemorated. A special gift – a badge of honour – was awarded to conductor Jüri Alperten who has worked at the theatre for 30 years; orchestral artists Priit Aimla and Eugen Simson-Valtin, and seamstress Helga Paide. The Estonia Theatre family welcomed 21 new members in their midst; altogether, the theatre employs 500 people.
The theatre season starts on 26 August in the freshly renovated hall that received 60 new seats with good visibility after modification works of technical booths, and a look more similar to the olden days. Now, the theatre hall has 808 seats.
“We will open the season two weeks before the usual time with the performance of “The Circus Princess”. In early September, there is the traditional theatre fair and the theatre bus tour,” said Aivar Mäe, General Manager of the Estonian National Opera. “The first premiere, “The Goblin”, will be performed already on 18 September. We welcome everyone to see the renewed theatre hall and enjoy performances,” he added.
In the 110th season, Vello Pähn is the Artistic Director and Chief Conductor; the Artistic Director of the Estonian National Ballet is Toomas Edur. Altogether, the season will include 350 performances and concerts.