The Estonian National Opera streams “Wallenberg” opera by Erkki-Sven Tüür for free

The Estonian National Opera will stream Erkki-Sven Tüür’s opera, “Wallenberg”, on its Facebook page for free on Saturday, 18 April.

Continuing its online streaming tradition during the coronavirus crisis, the National Opera will, for a third Saturday in a row, make a historical performance available for everyone for free, by showing Erkki-Sven Tüür’s “Wallenberg” on opera’s Facebook page.

The world premiere of the opera took place in 2001 at Theater Dortmund in Germany; the premiere at the Estonian National Opera was in 2007, with Dmitri Bertman and Neeme Kuningas as stage directors and Ene-Liis Semper as the set designer.

Saved over 100,000 Jews

The opera tells the story of a historical figure, Raoul Wallenberg – the Swedish diplomat who saved over 100,000 Jews from concentration camps in 1944. The same year, Wallenberg himself went missing in the Soviet Union under circumstances that are not clear until this day. “Wallenberg is a person who is capable of stepping up against steadfast power, totalitarianism and cruelty. He is a man who has become superhuman at inhuman times,” Bertman said in a statement, describing the hero of the opera.

In 2007, Bertman received the Estonian Annual Theatre Award for staging “Wallenberg”. In the same year, the artistic team of the opera received the Cultural Prize of the Republic of Estonia for their outstanding work.

Saturday’s performance was originally recorded in September 2007. The conductor is Arvo Volmer, the performers include Jesper Taude (Swedish National Opera), Priit Volmer, Mati Turi, Jassi Zahharov, Väino Puura, Teele Jõks, Helen Lokuta, Annaliisa Pillak, Juuli Lill and many others.

Erkki-Sven Tüür is an Estonian composer, born in Hiiumaa. The Helsinki Philharmonic, the Stockholm Saxophone Quartet and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra are among those who have commissioned works from him.

The performance begins at 7 PM EEST (5:00 PM BST/12:00 PM EDT) on 18 April and will remain online for a week. 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 “Wallenberg”. Photo by Harri Rospu.

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