Estonian National Opera set an audience record in 2015 with 185,000 guests

04.01.2016 / Rahvusooper Estonia

In 2015, the number of people attending the performances and concerts at the Estonian National Opera was 185,000, which is almost 35,000 more than the year before. A total of 356 performances and concerts were given with the average home stage turnout of 89% – an all-time record.

“We are extremely happy about the great audience interest, as this is the best acknowledgement to the family of the Estonia Theatre. The extra 60 seats added to the theatre hall during the summer renovation also had some impact. Unfortunately, once more we are forced to admit that the Estonia theatre hall is too small and we have reached the seating limit,” said Aivar Mäe, the General Manager of the Estonian National Opera.


The most popular performances of the year included the operas “Carmen” (97%), “La traviata” (90%), and “Rinaldo” (87%); the ballets “The Nutcracker”, “Onegin”, “The Goblin”, and “Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs” (all 100%). The turnout for the musicals “Karlsson on the Roof” and “Man of La Mancha” was also 100%. The performance that attracted the greatest audience – 16,000 people – was the operetta “Die Zirkusprinzessin”. 65 performances and concerts were given outside the theatre building to 41,000 people.

In 2016, the audience of the Estonia Theatre will see several fascinating performances and concerts. First, the Estonian National Ballet will please the ballet fans – the beloved winter fairy tale “The Nutcracker” stays on the program until 27 January. In addition, “Cinderella” and “Medea” will be on stage again from January.


The first premiere of the new year will take place on 22 January with the staging of Verdi’s famous masterpiece “Aida” with Tobias Kratzer, a rising star on opera stages worldwide, as the stage director. Although “Aida” is most famous for the grand Triumphal March, the opera also has many lyrically contemplative moments. This makes it a perfect fit for the stage of the Estonian National Opera. The leading roles are sung by Heli Veskus and Aile Asszonyi, and the conductor of the first performances is Vello Pärn.

15 April sees the premiere of Tchaikovsky’s evergreen “Swan Lake,” choreographed by Toomas Edur. The International Dance Day Ballet Gala on 29 April is dedicated to Tiit Härm, celebrating his 70th birthday in the spring.

The 110th season will get a grand ending on 3 June with the premiere of the musical “Fiddler on the Roof”. This musical, born half a century ago, became one of the most popular shows on Broadway, where it ran for more than 3,000 times. “Fiddler on the Roof” was first staged at the Estonian National Opera in 1989 by Georg Malvius, earning the title of the Theatrical Event of the Year. In the new staging, the leading roles are played by Mait Malmsten, Evelin Võigemast, and Helgi Sallo. The tickets for June performances have already been sold out, but it is still possible to purchase tickets to additional performances in August.

Just as in previous seasons, the family of the National Opera will be travelling all over Estonia to delight the residents of Pärnu, Tartu, Paide, and Jõhvi. This year’s guest performances will include Minkus’ ballet “La Bayadère,” Leigh’s musical “Man of La Mancha”, Verdi’s opera “La traviata,” and Kálmán’s operetta “Die Zirkusprinzessin.”

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