Birgitta Festival builds a musical bridge between Estonia and Finland

The organisers of the Birgitta Festival presented the highlights of the festival, which will take place from 6 to 14 August. Mozart's opera "Don Giovanni" and Sibelius's music for the play "Tempest" will be staged in the ruins of Pirita Convent, Finnish productions of "Black Monk" and "Uniko", and a new work, the opera "Lalli", begun by Veljo Tormis and completed by Rasmus Puur.

 The International Birgitta Festival 2022 will take place in the ruins of Pirita Convent from 6 to 14 August. The programme and tickets can be found at www.birgittafestival.ee

"The Birgitta Festival has been cancelled for the last two years due to the pandemic, and this has created a noticeable cultural break for music lovers, which we are happy to fill again this year," said Tallinn Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart. "This time, the Birgitta Festival, initiated by Eri Klas, will be dedicated to the historical musical ties with our northern neighbours, which also fits well in the context of the Tallinn-Helsinki twin city concept and Tallinn as a UNESCO City of Music. This year's festival will undoubtedly continue the high standard already achieved. The Birgitta Festival will feature new works, acclaimed large-scale productions, modernist compositions based on ancient folk music, video and light performances and much more. I am delighted that the spirit of Eri Klas is still present at Birgitta, as the great man's cultural legacy lives on in music and in the venue. The first Birgitta Festival was held in Pirita in 2005, with Eri Klas as artistic director until 2016. In honour of the great man, Tallinn is planning to create an Eri Klas green near Pirita Convent," Kõlvart said.

According to Tõnu Kaljuste, artistic director of the Tallinn Philharmonic, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra and Birgitta Festival 2022, this year's festival will build a bridge between Finnish and Estonian musicians. "Tallinn Philharmonic opens its festival with Rasmus Puur's completed version of the unfinished opera Lalli by Veljo Tormis. Symbolically, the premiere will be like a building rising on unfinished walls. Tormis's music can be heard for the first ten minutes of the opera, from where the same libretto develops on Puur's fantasy. This year's festival is concluded or framed by a concert based on sacred music - it will be a performance of Uniko by Kimmo Pohjonen, Juuso Hannukainen and the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra. Elmo Nüganen's production of Mozart's opera Don Giovanni at Vanemuine Opera House has received much praise. The production will be presented in Pirita on two evenings. Finnish composer Pehr Henrik Nordgren is a modernist composer who incorporated folk music into his work and enjoyed artistic freedom. The chamber opera Black Monk is being performed in Birgitta for only the third time in the world. The differing ambitions of Chekhov's characters touch on the themes of genius and closeness to nature. Jean Sibelius's work The Tempest has never been staged or performed in Estonia. Shakespeare's play has, of course, received many interpretations on the world's dramatic stages, but it is rarely staged with Sibelius's music. Kristjan Järvi interprets it with the Baltic Sea Symphony Orchestra and a video and light performance," Kaljuste said.

At a press event at the Finnish Embassy, soprano Maria Listra and the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir performed "Sinikka's Song" from the opera "LALLI or There is a Man in the Middle of the Sea".

For more information:
Kadri Tikerpuu
Producer of Birgitta Festival 2022
tel +3725101723