Georg Ots statue competition winner announced

Artist's impression of the winning entry in the Georg Ots statue competition, as it will appear in front of the Estonia Theater in Tallinn.
Artist's impression of the winning entry in the Georg Ots statue competition, as it will appear in front of the Estonia Theater in Tallinn. Source: Press materials.

A winner has been chosen from a design competition to commemorate Estonian baritone Georg Ots and to be installed in front of the Estonia Theater in Tallinn.

Tallinn deputy mayor Vadim Belobrovtsev (Center), chair of the competition jury, said the entry, "Muusa" (English: Muse), by sculptors Ilme and Riho Kuld, landscape architect Kristofer Soop (mimikri studio OÜ) and architect Ott Alver (Arhitekt Must OÜ) stood out both in terms of its urban spatial qualities and its classical approach.

"The artistic representation of the work is multifaceted, because Ots' likeness is combined with dynamic abstract forms," ​​he said, adding that in terms of urban space, a terrace-like "private space" will be created in front of the concert hall.

"A place to stay and tarry which does not diminish the effectiveness of the National Opera building, but instead highlights it," Belobrovtsev put it.

Of the remaining 10 entries, the jury said that none merited a second or third prize.

That said, "Bariton", by sculptor Vergo Vernik and architects Toivo Tammik and Andres Mägi (OÜ AB Ansambel), and "Paralleelmaailmad", by Hillar Viks, sculptor Seaküla Simson and architects Reet Valks and Urve Konts (OÜ R. Valk Arhitektuuribüroo) were together recognized with a €1000 prize.

"It is important that the conceptual work continues so that the authors of the work become more closer to Ots than during the implementation phase, and the artistic possibilities of bringing the sculpture to the present day might be considered," Vadim Belobrovtsev went on.  

The winning work receives a €10,000 prize; the Tallinn Environment and Public Utilities Board (Tallinna keskkonna- ja kommunaalamet) will enter into a corresponding employment contract with the winners.

In addition to Belobrovtsev, the jury also included Aivar Mäe, Director General of the Estonian National Opera (Rahvusooper), Ignar Fjuk, head of the Tallinn city planning board, Ain Valdmann, head of the Tallinn public utilities board, Architect Mihkel Tüür, sculptors Kirke Kangro and Edith Karlson and Mart Mikk, Head of the Estonian Society (Eesti Selts). 

Georg Ots (1920-1975) would have been 100 this year. He was a noted opera baritone who played the lead in Bizet's "Carmen", Verdi's "Un ballo in maschera" and Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess", among many others.

He was hugely popular across the Soviet Union as well as in Finland, and also got to perform in various other European countries during his career.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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