What connects characters like Eino Leino’s Lalli, Lorenzo da Ponte’s Don Giovanni, and William Shakespeare’s Prospero? They will all appear through the operas of Veljo Tormis, Rasmus Puur, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Pehr Henrik Nordgren, and Jean Sibelius at the 2022 Birgitta Festival.

The Tallinn Philharmonic Society will open their festival with Rasmus Puur’s finished version of the opera Lalli, unfinished by Veljo Tormis. This premiere is like a building being constructed on unfinished walls. The first ten minutes of the opera are Tormis’ creation, the rest is Puur’s fantasy following the same libretto. This year’s festival will also be brought to a conclusion by a concert based on primal music. This is Uniko, performed by Kimmo Pohjonen, Juuso Hannukainen and the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra.

Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni, brought to the stage of Vanemuine by Elmo Nüganen, has received many praises. The piece will be performed on two nights in Pirita.

Jean Sibelius’ play The Tempest has not been staged or performed in Estonia. The Shakespeare play has, of course, been interpreted many times on the world’s drama stages, yet Sibelius’ play is not frequently brought to the stage. Kristjan Järvi interprets it with the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and a play on video and light.

The Birgitta Festival has not taken place for two years. I am glad that this year, the Tallinn Philharmonic Society will be able to continue with the tradition of hosting the festival created by Eri Klas. This time, the festival will be building a bridge between Finnish and Estonian musicians. Enjoy!

Tõnu Kaljuste

Artistic director of the Tallinn Philharmonic Society, the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, and the 2022 Birgitta Festival.