On June 29, Tartu celebrates its annual "City Day." This year's event includes a series of live performances, culminating in the 'Gala Freedom Concert' on Vabaduse puiestee, which features Alika Milova, who represented Estonia at the Eurovision Song Contest in May.
According to Mayor of Tartu Urmas Klaas (Reform), Tartu City Day has, with its diverse program, become a really good way to kick-off the summer in the city. "On Tartu City Day, we always talk about Tartu and think about Tartu; but this time, we are also talking about freedom. With City Day, we are again one step closer to our year as the European Capital of Culture, the creative concept of which speaks about the arts of survival, the skills that will help us to live better in the future and be free," said Klaas.
The Tartu City Day events begin at 10 a.m., with Mayor Urmas Klaas serving coffee and talking about the city with whoever drops by, on the terrace of Café Shakespeare.
At 11 a.m., the youth area of the Tartu Youth Work Center will open on the city's "Car Free Avenue," where a number of activities dedicated to Tartu will also take place throughout the day, combining to create a piece of art called "The Tartu of My Dreams."
At noon, Lembit Saarsalu, the Tartu Sax Choir and the Big Band will assemble a mighty saxophone orchestra at Tartu's Pirogov Square, for a performance in honor of Tartu's patron saints Peter and Paul. Opera singer Priit Volmer will join them as a special guest.
Tartu City Day also traditionally includes various events to recognize the achievements of people from Tartu. This year's medals will be awarded at 1 p.m. in the Tartu City Museum. At 5 p.m., the owners of Tartu's most beautiful homes and best buildings will be presented with awards at Karlova School on Salme tänav.
For several years now, the theme of Tartu City Day has been "Opera Symbiosis," with, ensembles that do not usually perform together, taking to the stage.
Reigo Tamm, the main organizer of Tartu City Day, is pleased that the event has become a place for experimentation and innovation. "In previous years, we have done opera symbioses with several spoken word theaters. This year, inspired by the Year of Movement, we are collaborating with two dance theaters and an improv theater. It's exciting to see how opera singers and dancers are telling a story together, this time as equal partners," said Tamm.
The opera symbiosis of Improtheater Impeerium takes place at 1 p.m. and then again at 4 p.m. 13.00 the Athena Center.
The day ends with the 'Freedom Gala Concert,' which begins at 7.pm. on Vabaduse puiestee. The theme of freedom is a way of showing of support for Ukraine and an expression of gratitude to those who have helped Ukrainians through difficult times
The Opera Choir of the Kharkiv National Academic Opera and Ballet Theater of Ukraine will perform well-known and emotional choral numbers from a range of operas. The choir will be joined by Alika Milova, who represented Estonia in this year's Eurovision song contest, as well as opera singers Mirjam Mesak, Elena Bražnik, Janne Ševtšenko and Reigo Tamm, and conductor Aleksandr Bražnik with the Pärnu City Orchestra.
The concert is free to attend, as are most of the other events during Tartu City Day.
The gala concert also marks the opening of Tartu's now traditional "Car-free Avenue," which this year runs until August 6.
The full program for this year's Tartu City Days can be found (in Estonian) here.
Editor: Michael Cole