Estonian opera and ballet to Vilnius, Lithuania
To day 23th. September is the start of the guest visit by The Estonian National Opera and Ballet to the operahouse in Vilnius, presenting 5 different performances, three of their operaproductions, Tosca, Love for the Three Oranges and La Boheme, 23.24.25
. September and the two ballets Three Musketers and Manon 27 and 28th September.
Opera and Ballet go down the Baltic Way
For the first time in history Lithuanian and Estonian National Opera and Ballet Theatres shall be participating in a unique Exchange Project. At the end of September Vilnius and Tallinn shall welcome 9 productions from both national theatres: Lithuanians present 4 performances to the Estonian audiences and Estonian company brings 5 performances to the theatregoers in Vilnius.
The general manager of the Estonian National Opera and Ballet Theatre Aivar Mäe emphasized the beauty of friendly relationships between the countries and the importance of a unified space of Baltic culture as a possibility for the introduction of Baltic countries on an international level.
“The Estonian National Opera and the Estonian National Ballet have performed in different places all over the world, but it is always a great pleasure to visit the closest neighbours. While Lithuanians enjoy the performances of the Estonian National Opera in Vilnius, we have an opportunity to enjoy Lithuanian opera and ballet art in Estonia. From the aspect of presenting our countries to foreign audiences, it is very important to build up the joint Baltic opera and ballet space. This cooperation gives extraordinary opportunity to strengthen the relations between the theatres, to get acquainted with the principles of creation and to complement each other.“
TALLINN IN VILNIUS
Estonian NOBT shall start its tour in Vilnius on 23 September with a performance of Giacomo Puccini’s opera “Tosca”, which premiered in Tallinn in 2005 and was produced by Lithuanian director Raimundas Banionis and designer Sergei Bocullo. We shall also see G. Puccini’s “La boheme”, first presented in 2010 (dir. Ran Arthur Braun from Israel), S. Prokofiev’s opera “The Love for Three Oranges” that evokes the spirit of commedia dell arte (dir. Dmitry Bertman, Helikon Opera Theatre in Moscow)
Details about the opera program performed in Vilnius:
Opera by Giacomo Puccini in three acts with two intervals.
Libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica after Victorien Sardou’s play of the same name
Premiere on 13 May 2005
Approx. running time 2 hours 50 min
Sung in Italian, with subtitles in Estonian and English
Music Director and Conductor – Arvo Volmer
Conductor – Jüri Alperten
Stage Director – Raimundas Banionis (Lithuania)
Designer – Sergejus Bocullo (Lithuania)
The story takes place in Rome in 1800.
Church of Sant’ Andrea della Valle in Rome. The former consul of Rome, Angelotti, an escaped prisoner, comes into the church to find women’s clothes that his sister, marquise Attavanti, has left in the family chapel so that her brother could leave the city.
The painter Mario Cavaradossi comes to the church to finish his painting of Mary Magdalene – inspired by marquise Attavanti. Believing the church to be empty, Angelotti exits the family chapel and meets unexpectedly with Cavaradossi who promises to hide him in his villa.
When the singer Floria Tosca comes to meet her lover Cavaradossi in the church, Angelotti is forced to hide in the chapel again. Tosca becomes jealous of the similarity between Cavaradossi’s Mary Magdalene and marquise Attavanti, but the artist expresses his love to her and Tosca departs happily.
A cannon shot from the fortress signals that Angelotti’s escape from the prison has been discovered. Cavaradossi and Angelotti leave the church quickly.
The Sacristan announces that victory over Napoleon will be celebrated tonight with a concert at the Palazzo Farnese with Tosca also performing.
The police chief Scarpia and the soldiers come to the church to look for Angelotti. They find a basket of food and marquise Attavanti’s fan in the chapel. Tosca, who is still suspicious of Cavaradossi’s Mary Magdalene, returns to the church. Scarpia, who is hopelessly in love with Tosca, tries to arouse jealousy towards Cavaradossi in her with the fan. He hopes to sway Tosca to his side, but she prays to God and departs. The police agent Spoletta follows her.
The office in the Palazzo Farnese. Tosca will perform here today. Scarpia writes her a note that Cavaradossi is with him, trying to lure her to himself. Spoletta arrives and announces that the fugitive has not been found, but the suspicious-looking Cavaradossi has been arrested.
The painter does not betray Angelotti under interrogation. Tosca arrives. Scarpia orders Cavaradossi to be taken off to be tortured. Driven to desperation by Cavaradossi’s cries of pain, Tosca wants to spare her lover and betrays Angelotti’s hiding place
Sciarrone announces that it was actually the French who won at Marengo. Cavaradossi praises freedom and Scarpia condemns him to death for the patriotic statement.
Scarpia is only ready to release Cavaradossi, if Tosca will be his. She is forced to accept the offer. The happy Scarpia agrees to stage a mock execution of Cavaradossi and agrees to also issue a permit to let Tosca and Cavaradossi leave Rome. He tries to embrace Tosca, but receives a fatal knife blow from the woman.
The castle of Sant’ Angelo. Cavaradossi writes a farewell note to Tosca. The agitated Tosca comes to tell Cavaradossi that she killed Scarpia and Mario will undergo a mock execution.
The soldiers come to carry out the death sentence. Cavaradossi steps to the wall, the shot is fired. Tosca runs to Cavaradossi and discovers to her horror that Cavaradossi is dead, Scarpia had lied to her
Scarpia’s killing is discovered. In order to escape her captors, Tosca has no other option but to throw herself from the ramparts of the castle.
In Vilnius Septb. 23th. at 18.30.
THE LOVE FOR THREE ORANGES
A four-act opera with a prologue by Sergey Prokofiev.
Libretto by Sergey Prokofiev, based on Carlo Gozzi’s comedy of the same name
World premire on December 30, 1921 at Auditorium Theatre
Premiere at the Estonian National Opera on January 28, 2010
Music Director and Conductor: Arvo Volmer
Conductors: Mihhail Gerts, Risto Joost
Stage Director: Dmitri Bertman (Helikon-Opera, Moscow)
Set Designer: Igor Nezhnyi (Helikon-Opera, Moscow)
Costume Designer: Tatyana Tulubeva (Helikon-Opera, Moscow)
Lighting Designer: Neeme Jõe
Performed in Estonian, subtitles in Estonian and English.
Approx. running time 2 h 15 min
The Opera The Love for Three Oranges is an Italian style commedia dell’arte or improvised masque comedy through the perception of the 20th century Russian composer. Prokofiev wrote the libretto himself on the basis of the Russian adaptation of Carlo Gozzi’s eponymous comedy (1761) by Vsevolod Meierhold, Konstantin Vogak and Vladimir Solovyov. The play mocks the writings of Gozzi’s contemporary Carlo Goldoni whose sombre and superficial naturalistic melodramas were, in Gozzi’s opinion, the reason for the decline of the Italian theatre.
Gozzi’s surreal and fantasy-laden play inspired Prokofiev to create a masterpiece that mixes magic, comedy and satire. The Love for Three Oranges is a multi-layered play – it can be viewed as a play in a play, witty critique of the opera traditions of the 20th century or as a dispute on acute political problems by means of commedia dell’arte. The multitude of interpretation possibilities of both the opera and the play has made it a real treat for stage directors and artists. After the premiere in the US, the opera was a huge success in Russia.
The Love for Three Orangesis brought to the stage by Dmitri Bertman, a stage director with an unlimited imagination, whose vision of Wallenberg earned several awards.
In Vilnius Septb. 24th. at 18.30.
Opera by Giacomo Puccini in four acts
Libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa based on Henri Murger’s novel Scènes de la vie de bohème
World premiere February 1, 1896 Teatro Regio (Turin)
Premiere at the Estonian National Opera on October 29, 2010
Music Director and Conductor: Arvo Volmer
Conductors: Risto Joost, Mihhail Gerts
Stage Director: Ran Arthur Braun (Israel)
Set Designers: Ran Arthur Braun and Riccardo Gallino (Italy)
Costumes Designer: Elo Soode
Lighting Designer: Neeme Jõe
Sung in Italian with subtitles in Estonian and English
Approx. running time: 2,5 h
Young, cheerful, careless and passionate bohemians enjoy life and its intricate turns sparkled with love, hope, despair and wild Parisian life-rhythm to the fullest. Stage Director Ran Arthur Braun: “Bohemians are presented on stage with humour and tear as they exist together. There is no reason to ignore youth and its vivid charm as if we already knew how it is going to end!”
As one of the greatest 20th century melody masters, Puccini has created colourful and enticing musical portraits for his characters and has depicted a beautiful and romantic image of Paris, employing memorable melodies and bold orchestral colours. Claude Debussy has said: “No one has described the Paris of these days as aptly as Puccini in his La bohème.”
Rodolfo, the poet, and Marcello, the painter, are trying to work in their cold Latin Quarter garret. They are without money to relieve their hunger, without fuel for heating their flat and without money to pay their rent. Colline, the philosopher has tried and failed to pawn some books. The musician Schaunard has been more fortunate – he arrives with food, money firewood and cigarettes. Rodolfo wants to work and his friends depart for Café Momus to celebrate their good fortune. Rodolfo’s work is interrupted by a beautiful young woman living next door, who is searching for a means to light her candle. On her way to her room she realises that she has dropped her key in Rodolfo’s room. She returns but her candle is extinguished in the draft. Rodolfo falls in love with Mimi who is hopelessly ill but two months later he deserts her, unable to look helplessly on while Mimi’s illness worsens in his poor, cold hovel. Six months later Mimi is brought back to the poet’s lodgings, as it is her dying wish to be with her friends again…
In Vilnius Septb. 25th. at 18.30.
and The Estonian National Ballet.
Thomas Edur is artistic director of the Estonian National Ballet Company.
“The Three Musketeers” – a ballet created after A. Dumas’ novel and Malcolm Arnold’s music by choreographer David Nixon. On 28 September the tour shall end with the most exciting novelty of the Estonian National Ballet – Kenneth McMillan’s ballet“Manon” after the music of J
The Estonian Ballet company is extremely proud to have received the permission to stage the ballet from choreographer’s widow Deborah McMillan, since such permission is given only to the most talented companies.
Manon was the last ballet Agnes Oaks and Thomas Edur performed in before returning from London to Estonia in 2009.
Details about the ballett program performed in Vilnius:
Kenneth MacMillan’s ballet to the music of Jules Massenet.
World premiere: March 3, 1974 in the Royal Ballet (London)
Premiere at the Estonian National Opera: April 7, 2011
Choreographer-Stage Director – Kenneth MacMillan
Stager – Karl Burnett (England)
Music Director and Conductor – Risto Joost
Conductor – Mihhail Gerts
Arrangement – Martin Yates (UK)
Designer – Mia Stensgaard (The Royal Danish Ballet)
Assistant to the Designer – Maja Ziska (The Royal Danish Ballet)
Lighting Designer – David Richardson (England)
Approx. running time: 2 h 50 min
Kenneth MacMillan’s ballet to Jules Massenet’s beautiful music introduces 18th century life and strata – from aristocrats to social outcasts. The ballet is based on Abbe Prevost’s novel L’Histoire du chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut, the central character of which is Manon – the most desirable courtesan in Paris, who becomes a refugee in Louisiana due to an exciting and dramatic chain of events. The music, being full of emotions, expresses Manon’s downfall from the world of pleasures to the frustrating hellhole.
The music of the ballet has been arranged by Martin Yates who have used a number of Massenet’s works but not his eponymous opera. The audience will hear extracts from thirteen Massenet’s operas (including Le Cid, Chérubin, Cinderella and Don Quixote), also from his oratorios, salon songs (Elegy), songs and orchestral suites (Scénes dramatiques and Scénes pittoresques).
Sir Kenneth MacMillan created one of the most popular ballets of the 20th century for the Royal Ballet in 1974. Since then, Manon has been performed by top ballet companies, such as English National Ballet, La Scala and Mariinsky Theatre, as the dancing technique of the dancers has to be of high level. “I do not always say “yes” when a ballet company approaches me wanting to acquire the work, I rely on trusted notators to assess the company” says Deborah MacMillan, the widow of Kenneth MacMillan. The Estonian National Opera got the permission to performManon in 2009. Manon was the last ballet Agnes Oaks and Thomas Edur performed in before returning from London to Estonia in 2009.
In Vilnius Septb. 28th. at 18.30.
THE THREE MUSKETEERS
A ballet by David Nixon to the music by Malcolm Arnold
Based on the novel The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas, father
World premiere: 23 September 2006 (Northern Ballet Theatre)
Premiere at the Estonian National Opera: 23 April 2009
Conductors: Jüri Alperten or Mihhail Gerts
Choreographer and Stage Director: David Nixon (Northern Ballet Theatre)
Set Designer: Charles Cusick Smith (Scotland)
Costumes: David Nixon (Northern Ballet Theatre)
Lighting Artists: David Nixon and Tiit Urvik
Music arrangement and orchestration: John Longstaff (UK)
In the roles: and Sergei Upkin.
A ballet in two acts with one intermission
Approximate running time: 2 h 15 min
From the British press:
“It is tremendous fun…conveyed by some of the most wonderful dancing that I’ve ever seen.”
Morning Star. 25 September 2006
“The show is a rip-roaring adventure that dads and sons will enjoy as much as mums and daughters.”
Telegraph & Argus. 25 September 2006
The well-known characters of the novel by Alexander Dumas, father, become alive on the stage of the Estonian National Opera: Cardinal Richelieu is plotting against Queen Anne. The brave musketeers Athos, Porthos and Aramis together with the fearless d’Artagnan have promised to protect France no matter what. Young d’Artagnan falls head over heels in love with Constance, lady-in-waiting of the Queen.
One for all and all for one! In cooperation with the creative team of the Northern Ballet Theatre, the ballet by David Nixon with its captivating music, thrilling scenes of sword fights, carefree humour typical of the musketeers and the romance radiating from beautiful duets will be brought to the stage of the Estonian National Opera.
The career of David Nixon as a stage director has taken him to many renowned theatres worldwide: Birmingham Royal Ballet, Komische Oper, German State Opera, Sydney City Ballet, etc.
The performance includes film music by Malcolm Arnold, arranged and orchestrated by John Longstaff.
In Vilnius Septb. 27th. at 18.30.
All photos by Hanne Rospu. The Estonian National Opera and Ballet.
During the same periode The Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet is guesting Tallinn in Estonia with for 4 opera/ballet performances.
VILNIUS IN TALLINN.
During a press conference held in Tallinn about the Baltic Opera and Ballet cooperation, the general manager of the LNOBT Gintautas Kėvišas claimed:
“We are proud to be a part of the exchange programme between the opera and ballet theatres of Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia. After the restoration of Lithuania’s independence, this is the first touring event of such a grand scale. The idea of creating an exchange programme belongs to Aivar Mäe, the general manager of the Estonian National Opera and Ballet Theatre – his striking charisma persuaded the general manager of the Latvian National Opera and Ballet Theatre Andrejs Žagars and myself to participate in this superb project. I am truly happy that the idea is being implemented successfully.”
Arūnas Gelūnas, culture minister of Lithuania, spoke at the pressconference in Tallinn, where the cooperation was presented, about a need to establish and nurture the Baltic identity – this exchange between national theatres that “export” high-quality culture into the neighbouring countries can be seen as the first step towards achieving the goal.
While introducing the productions that are scheduled to be shown on 24-28 September in Tallinn, the general manager of the LNOBT Gintautas Kėvišas first mentioned Giuseppe Verdi’s masterpiece “Otello” – the latest opera premiere of the LNOBT, created by director Eimuntas Nekrošius and conductor Gintaras Rinkevičius. According to G. Kėvišas, the exceptional language of symbols created by the director accentuates the beautiful undertones of music and encourages theatre goers to dive deep into the hidden meanings of this particular opera.
As for the production of Jacques Fromental Halévy opera “La juive“, G. Kėvišas claims that the Vilnius’ version done by directorGünter Krämer (Austria) is quite simply unique. Although in 2004 “La juive” originally came to the LNOBT as a revival of very successful production (previously shown at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, “Wiener Staatsoper” and elsewhere), the director was so inspired by Vilnius as “Northern Jerusalem” that he created an individual concept for the production adapted to the theatrical space of the LNOBT.
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. Kėvišas also introduced ballet productions to be performed in Estonia. The first one, Sergei Prokofiev’s “Romeo and Juliet” produced by choreographer Vladimir Vasiljev in 1993, presents a few interesting artistic ideas, i.e. during the performance the orchestra is present on stage, and not in the pit; such original decision was made to accompany the presence of the charismatic Mstislav Rostropovich who at the time was conducting the piece. In Tallinn the LNOBT is also going to show one of its most popular ballets, “The Red Giselle” produced by choreographer Boris Eifman. Artistic manager of the Lithuanian National Ballet is Tatjana Sedunova.
The general manager of the LNOBT also expressed his regret that due to the differences of stage measurements Vilnius’ opera company cannot bring to Tallinn Giacomo Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly”. This one of the most beautiful productions in the repertoire of the LNOBT was directed by the famous master of cinema Anthony Minghella (1954–2008) – a co-production between the English National Opera, the LNOBT and the Metropolitan Opera, the production remains as his one and only venture into the world of opera.
“However, you can still enjoy this and other wonderful productions, such as J. S. Bach’s “Johannesspassion” directed by Robert Wilson, if you come to Lithuania and visit the LNOBT. We kindly invite you to Vilnius!”
The exchange between Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre and the Latvian NOBT shall be implemented in 2012.