Estonian Theatre-Goers Give Swan Lake a Hearty Round of Applause

This March, the Leonid Yacobson Ballet Company visited Tallinn during a tour to Estonia . On March 21, members of the company performed Swan Lake, a ballet classic with music by Pyotr Tchaikovsky and choreography by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, at the Rahvusooper Estonia (Estonia National Opera). All the tickets were sold out, and the people of Tallinn received the performance with enthusiastic applause.

The Saint-Petersburg State Academic Leonid Yacobson Ballet Theatre introduced the Estonian public to the renewed version of the classical Swan Lake, with colourful scenery and an intricate set courtesy of Vyacheslav Okunev, a distinguished set designer, People's Artist of the Russian Federation, and winner of various prestigious theatre awards.

Rahvusooper Estonia is housed in a stunningly beautiful modern-style building in the Estonian capital, constructed by Finnish architects in 1913.

During World War I, the concert hall of this opera and ballet venue served as a military hospital, and in 1919, it became a meeting place for the nation's first parliament, the Estonian Constituent Assembly. Destroyed in World War II, the building saw a major restoration in the late 1940s.

Up until 1949, the theatre's repertoire included musicals and drama performances, but afterwards the drama company was disbanded, and Rahvusooper Estonia became an opera and ballet house.

It had initially focused on operas and operettas, which were then joined by ballets. The theatre's ballet company was founded in the 1920s.

Interestingly enough, the ballet company of the Rahvusooper Estonia is currently also working on its own rendition of Swan Lake. This show is to premiere soon after the Russian company's tour, on April 15, 2016. The Estonian version of the ballet, staged by the choreographer Thomas Edur, is based on Marius Petipa's and Lev Ivanov's classical choreography and Vladimir Begichev's and Vasily Geltser's libretto. It offers the audience a new perspective on the fusion between refined classical dance and a romantic love story, with elements of fantasy and the underlying message that good conquers evil.