The Estonian National Opera streams the ballet “Modigliani – the Cursed Artist” for free

Continuing its online streaming tradition during the coronavirus crisis, the Estonian National Opera will, for a fourth Saturday in a row, make a historical performance available for everyone for free, by showing a ballet by Toomas Edur, CBE, “Modigliani – the Cursed Artist”, on the opera’s Facebook page on 25 April.

The ballet will be streamed at 7 PM EEST (5:00 PM BST/12:00 PM EDT) on 25 April and will remain online for a week.

“Modigliani – the Cursed Artist” tells the story of the stormy life of Amedeo Modigliani (1884–1920), one of the most famous bohemian artists of the 20th century. “Legends are told about Modigliani’s life – his eccentric nature, his bragging, emotional twists, passionate affairs with writers Anna Akhmatova and Beatrice Hastings, and artist Jeanne Hébuterne, a dream to mount Parnassus and his rivalry with Picasso, health problems and the onset of tuberculosis that he tried to conceal by consuming alcohol and drugs excessively – it all provides colourful material for the birth of an astonishing stage-work,” the national opera said in a statement.

Edur’s debut as a stage director in Estonia

The ballet premiered in 2012 and is Toomas Edur’s debut as a stage director at the Estonian National Opera. Before becoming the artistic director of the Estonian National Ballet in 2009, Edur worked for almost twenty years as the principal dancer with the English National Ballet. In 2010, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II appointed Edur as Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE), in recognition of his services to the arts in the UK and UK-Estonia cultural relations. 

Toomas Edur. Photo by Mait Jüriado.

The ballet’s composer is Tauno Aints, the conductor is Risto Joost and the designer is Liina Keevallik; the performers include Anatoli Arhangelski, Alena Shkatula, Sergei Upkin and many others. The performance, streamed on Saturday, was originally recorded in January 2014. 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 Estonian National Opera traces its history back to 1870, when the song and drama society “Estonia” was founded.

Cover: A scene from “Modigliani – the Cursed Artist”. Photo by Harri Rospu.

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