North Estonia Lights Up Tonight With Classics, Folk ({{commentsTotal}})

The ruins of St. Bridget's, covered for the Birgitta Festival
The ruins of St. Bridget's, covered for the Birgitta Festival Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

Friday ushers in two major cultural events taking place on the north coast: the renowned Birgitta Festival, hosted in Tallinn's Pirita Convent, and the earthier Viru Folk festival, held in the seaside village of Käsmu.

Set in the towering ruins of the 15th century St. Bridget's Convent, this year's Birgitta Festival will be presenting a classical performance - opera or ballet - every evening from now until August 18.

For the opening night, audiences will be tempted by a staging of Gounod’s "Faust" by Opera North from Leeds. Other works in the nine-day program include the Kremlin Ballet's renditions of "Figaro," and "The Sleeping Beauty;" Kurt Weill's ballet "The Seven Deadly Sins," performed by the Komische Oper Berlin and the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra; and the homegrown Estonian musical "Arabella."

The scene tonight at Viru Folk, a music festival held annually since 2009, is likely to be more youthful and laid-back as audiences drift in via the Nature Bus and stake out places to pitch tents.

Swedish culture is the focus of this year's festival, and a number of Swedish bands making their way across the Baltic to perform at the three-day, concert-packed event.

The festival also includes a film program, photo program and children's program, all of which have been given a Swedish flavor.

Tickets to both events are available from Piletilevi.