Birgitta Festival introduced its jubilee program
Posted on 15. April 2014
The Birgitta Festival taking place from August 8 to 17 celebrates two great anniversaries this time – the 75th anniversary of Eri Klas and the 10th anniversary of the Birgitta Festival. The aim of Birgitta Festival is to provide high level music theatre performances of various genres. This year’s program includes a stage performance of an oratorio, a comic opera, a grand dramatic opera, a ballet and a representative of a more festive genre – a stage performance of a gala concert befitting the jubilee year. There will be guest performers from America, Western Europe, Russia and Latvia.
At the April 15 press conference in the House of the Blackheads the new manager of the Tallinn Philharmonic Society Ms. Margit Tohver-Aints made her first public appearance. It included the premiere performance of an extract of ‘Mass’ by the world-famous composer of musicals Leonard Bernstein with a solo by one of the stars of the performance Koit Toome.
The press conference was attended by the following: Artistic Manager of Tallinn Philharmonic Society Maestro Eri Klas, Mayor of Tallinn Mr. Edgar Savisaar, the Chairman of the Board of AS EMT Mr. Valdo Kalm, Member of the Board of Olympic Casino AS Mr. Aigar Hain, CEO of Altia Eesti AS Ms. Kristel Mets, Marketing Manager of ABC Motors AS Mr. Indrek Luberg and Director of Tallinn Philharmonic Society Ms. Margit Tohver-Aints. The listed major supporters took part in order to sign sponsorship agreements.
The festival opens on August 8, 2014 with ’Mass’ by Leonard Bernstein. The star of the performance Douglas Webster said: “I am proud to be performing this in Estonia as the piece is highly relevant in the current political situation.” The story of the Mass tells about the anti-government and anti-war feelings of the American youth and their search for God in this inescapable situation. The main characters are portrayed by Douglas Webster from the USA and Koit Toome, to the accompaniment of opera, jazz and rock singers, the Estonian National Symphonic Orchestra and a rock band.
For the first time Birgitta Festival introduces a ballet troupe from St. Petersburg performing the rarely staged ‘Spartacus’ by Khachaturian that demands a particularly strong troupe of male dancers (August 10).
Comic opera ‘The Abduction from the Seraglio’ by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (August 14) is coming to us from the heart of Europe as a joint project of a Swiss opera theatre, a stage director from Liechtenstein, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra and conductor Risto Joost. ‘It’s a very humorous and carefully thought-out production,” said Eri Klas after having recently seen the premiere in Switzerland.
The final performances are given by the Helikon opera theatre as a tribute to its role in the history of the festival. Dmitri Bertman is the most famous Russian opera director in the world and highly revered in Estonia. Helikon was our first guest opera in 2005 with a performance of ‘Dialogues of the Karmelites’ that talks about the destruction of a nunnery and was thus particularly well suited to the venue. This time they will bring us ‘A Masked Ball’ by Verdi (August 15). It is a story of two basic passions – power and love.
‘Eri Klas Opera Gala’ (August 16 and 17) is a stage performance of a gala concert with the loveliest operatic arias and ensembles alternating with video clips of the maestro’s life. The humorous and touching stage performance is directed by Dmitri Bertman, with soloists from the Moscow opera theatre Helikon and the Estonian National Opera.