The Estonian National Opera starts streaming performances for free

The Estonian National Opera begins streaming performances for free; the first one, the opera, “Faust”, will be streamed on 4 April.

The opera starts streaming performances every Saturday to bring opera and ballet performances to the audience’s homes during the current coronavirus emergency situation. The first performance begins on 4 April at 7:00 PM EEST (5:00 PM BST/12:00 PM EDT) and will remain online for a week.

The first performance to be streamed is Chales Gounod’s opera “Faust”, where the part of Mephistopheles is sung by Ain Anger, an Estonian opera bass. The opera is directed by Dmitri Bertman from Moscow Helikon-Opera. The conductor is Vello Pähn and designer Ene-Liis Semper. The performers include Oliver Kuusik, Joanna Freszel, Rauno Elp, Helen Lokuta and many others. The performance was recorded in collaboration with the Estonian Public Broadcasting in January 2014.

Mephistopheles, played by Ain Anger. Photo by Harri Rospu.

“Faust” premiered in 1859 and is Gounod’s most famous opera. It tells a story of how Faust sells his soul to Mephistopheles in exchange for youth – but there are no winners when making a pact with the devil.

“Mephistopheles always gives two options for a human: giving in to the temptation and refusing it. Every time he gives these options, the man chooses the worse way. This raises a question: should humans, as foolish as they are, even be given options? Mephistopheles does not lose hope,” the opera’s production designer, Ene-Liis Semper, said in a press release.

Watching the performance online is free of charge and although it’s streamed via Facebook, the viewer does not need to have Facebook account. The opera is performed in French, with subtitles in Estonian. For future performances, see the Estonian National Opera Facebook page.

The Estonian National Opera traces its history back to 1870, when the song and drama society “Estonia” was founded.

Cover: The Estonian National Opera building in Tallinn.

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