Culture

Broadway director writes musical about Singing Revolution

19.08.19 ... Inspired while on a vacation to Tallinn, Broadway director Tony Spinosa has written a musical about Estonia's Singing Revolution.

City tower exhibition brings famous towers to Tallinn Ferris wheel

15.08.19 ... Tallinn City Museum has opened a new exhibition about Tallinn's various iconic towers, old and new, on the platform of the city's newest tourist attraction — the Skywheel of Tallinn.

Baltic Film Days to offer free screenings of Latvian, Lithuanian films

15.08.19 ... For the third year in a row, Baltic Film Days are returning to Cinema Artis, this time in honor of the 30th anniversary of the Baltic Way. On Aug. 21-22, the Tallinn movie theater will be screening the best of recent Latvian and Lithuanian movies as well as offering moviegoers a chance to meet with the filmmakers. All screenings are free.

Rakvere Theatre begins 80th season

14.08.19 ... The Rakvere Theatre team of cast, crew and staff has returned to work, marking the beginning of its 80th season with a traditional group picture in front of the theater itself.

Ivo Linna, Kaire Vilgats to give free concert in Tallinn on Aug. 20

14.08.19 ... On Tuesday, Aug. 20, the Day of Restoration of Independence will be celebrated in Tallinn's August 20 Square.

Urissaare country festival celebrating 5th anniversary

13.08.19 ... This Friday and Saturday, country music festival Urissaare Kantri is opening its gates to country fans everywhere and celebrating its fifth anniversary at Urissaare Rantšo in Viljandi County's Mulgi Municipality.

Gallery: Tartuff kicks off in pouring rain

13.08.19 ... From the organizers of Black Nights Film Festival (PÖFF), Tartu Love Film Festival "Tartuff" began in the Southern Estonian city's Town Hall Square on Monday night, where nearly 700 people showed up for the opening ceremony despite the rain.

Gallery: Wagwan Festival attracts thousands of reggae, hip-hop fans

13.08.19 ... Reggae, hip-hop and reggaeton festival Wagwan attracted nearly 4,000 fans to the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds last Friday.

Tartu Love Film Festival 'Tartuff' begins Monday night

12.08.19 ... From the organizers of Black Nights Film Festival (PÖFF), Tartu Love Film Festival "Tartuff" is operating Estonia's largest outdoor movie theater in Tartu Town Hall Square this week, where for six nights in a row, it will screen movies focused on love and the various aspects thereof.

Gallery: Birgitta Festival Ballet Gala brings full house to Pirita Convent

12.08.19 ... On Saturday, Aug. 10, more than 1,100 festivalgoers filled Tallinn's Pirita Convent for this year's Ballet Gala. Birgitta Festival's gala performance, under the artistic direction of Toomas Edur, brought world-class ballet dancers to the stage from Germany, Finland, Estonia, Russia and Sweden — all places that played a pivotal role on the creative journey of Estonian ballet conductor Eri Klas.

'Nightingales of Kreml' returning to stage in Narva

12.08.19 ... This past weekend, final rehearsals for "Nightingales of Kreml" began at the historical Kreenholm Textile Factory in Narva. Back by popular demand, Tartu New Theatre's popular summer production, which drew thousands of people to the Northeastern Estonian border city last August, opens its second run this Wednesday.

Looking back: ESTO 2019 program brings together youth from 25 countries

06.08.19 ... From June 27 through July 3, Estonians from across the world came together to celebrate their Estonian culture and identity at the 12th ESTO festival. ESTO 2019, dedicated to the theme "Our Future," took place immediately prior to the XXVII Song and XX Dance Festival, beginning in Helsinki and moving through Tartu before concluding in Tallinn. Toronto Estonian Juku Gold takes a look back at the festival through the eyes of a youth delegate.

Gallery: Seto Kingdom proclaimed in Küllätüvä

04.08.19 ... For the 26th time, the Seto Kingdom was proclaimed for a day in the Setomaa region of Southeastern Estonia, this time in the tiny village of Küllätüvä. The pinnacle of Seto Kingdom Day, which is one of the highlights of the Seto calendar, was the democratic direct election of the next ülembsootska, or regent of the god-king Peko.

State to support Vaba Lava Narva with €150,000

02.08.19 ... The Cabinet decided on Thursday evening to support the activity of Vaba Lava Theatre Centre in Narva with €150,000, with the Ministry of Culture prepared to allocate another €50,000 support if necessary.

Tartu submits bid book in candidacy for 2024 European Capital of Culture

01.08.19 ... Tartu submitted its bid book to the final round of the 2024 European Capital of Culture selection on Wednesday, to be evaluated by an international panel of experts. The bid, titled "Arts of Survival," was created in cooperation with Tartu and 19 other Southern Estonian municipalities. It consists of an artistic concept, cultural, social and educational programs as well as action plans for implementing and marketing the planned Capital of Culture.

Gallery: Last day of filming for 'Tenet' underway on Laagna Road

25.07.19 ... Thursday marks the last additional day of filming on Laagna Road in Tallinn's Lasnamäe District granted to British director Christopher Nolan for his feature-length film "Tenet." Filming was originally scheduled to wrap on Sunday, but the film's production company successfully sought an additional two days of filming this week.

Opinion: Lack of debate about new Mein Kampf translation worrying

24.07.19 ... While Estonia's largest bookstore chains decided that they won't carry a new Estonian translation of Mein Kampf, there has been little and thus far only very superficial discussion of the topic in local media. Considering the current political and social situation as well as how Estonia has dealt with its own complicated history in the past, this is worrying, finds ERR news editor Dario Cavegn.

New Estonian translation of Mein Kampf published, bookshops refuse to sell

24.07.19 ... Publishers Matrix Kirjastus have a new translation of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf out. What according to earlier announcements is an edition of 1,000 is ready for sale, but Estonia's two largest book shop chains, Rahva Raamat and Apollo, have decided not to sell it.

Tallinn grants 'Tenet' producers two extra days for filming on Laagna Road

22.07.19 ... Tallinn City Government has decided to allow the producers of "Tenet," British director Christopher Nolan's latest film project, to use Laagna Road in the capital city's Lasnamäe District for an additional two days of filming.

'Tenet' film producers requesting extra two days filming on Laagna Road

20.07.19 ... Film production company Funfair Films Limited, which is leading British director Christopher Nolan's latest film project "Tenet," is seeking permission from the City of Tallinn for an additional two days of filming on Laagna Road in Lasnamäe District.

Gallery: Metallica gives sold-out show in Tartu

19.07.19 ... Returning to Estonia for the fourth time, Metallica gave a sold-out show to 60,000 at Raadi Airfield in Tartu on Thursday night.

Photos: Thousands pour into Tartu ahead of Metallica concert

18.07.19 ... Metallica is giving a sold-out show to 60,000 at Raadi Airfield in Tartu on Thursday evening, and fans are coming from all over to attend the concert. Signs at the city borders even received a facelift for the occasion, and have proven a popular place for fans to stop and take a picture on their way in.

Gallery: Filming for Nolan's 'Tenet' continues in Lasnamäe

17.07.19 ... Filming that began on Laagna Road in Tallinn's Lasnamäe District last Wednesday has continued this week. British director Christopher Nolan's film crew is back on Laagna Road as of Wednesday, where filming is scheduled to wrap up over the weekend.

Info for Metallica concert attendees: Park further out, arrive early

16.07.19 ... Metallica is returning to Estonia for the fourth time, this time giving a sold-out concert to 60,000 at Raadi Airfield in Tartu on Thursday. Concertgoers are advised to walk or take public transport if possible, carry cash, and arrive early.

Gallery: Free movie music concert held at Song Festival Grounds

16.07.19 ... A free movie music concert was held at Tallinn Song Festival Grounds on Monday evening, organized in connection with the filming of Christopher Nolan's "Tenet." The concert was part of Lasnamäe Movie Summer, a program offering a series of free events throughout the period when filming is taking place in Tallinn's Lasnamäe District.

Estonian online music portal Rada7 to shut down after 20 years

15.07.19 ... Following two decades of volunteer-based efforts, award-winning Estonian online music magazine and portal Rada7.ee is celebrating its 20th and final birthday with a parting bang on Sept. 6.

Final casting call for 'Tenet' extras in Tallinn

15.07.19 ... Allfilm is seeking men between the ages of 20-55 to play extras in the Christopher Nolan-directed film "Tenet," filming for which is taking place in Tallinn this month, primarily on on Laagna Road in Lasnamäe.

Minister seeks €100,000 from reserve fund for urgent Narva church repairs

12.07.19 ... A government minister has proposed using €100,000 from reserve funds for critical restoration work at a Lutheran church in the eastern Estonian town of Narva.

Watch again: Full videos of the XXVII Song and XX Dance Festival 'My Love'

09.07.19 ... The double-jubilee XXVII Song and XX Dance Festival "My Fatherland is My Love" ("Minu Arm" in Estonian) brought tens of thousands of singers, dancers and musicians to Tallinn for days of rehearsals, four days of performances and a parade for all performers. ERR covered the jubilee festival in Estonian, Russian and English, with several of the public broadcaster's Estonian- and Russian-language TV channels and radio stations as well as ERR.ee broadcasting parts or all of the festival live. Watch all of the Song and Dance Festival's major performances again in full below.

Opinion: Song and Dance Festival not the preserve of politicians

09.07.19 ... The Estonian Song and Dance Festival is for everyone, regardless of constitution, regimes and governments. It is not the preserve of politicians, and so should not be hijacked by them, writes ERR's Merilin Pärli, a participant in the Song Festival herself.

Minister's Song Festival speech on agenda, content own idea, say organizers

09.07.19 ... A speech made by Minister of Culture, Tõnis Lukas (Isamaa) at Sunday's Song and Dance Festival finale was on the itinerary, though its content had not been coordinated with party organizers, ERR's online news in Estonian reports.

Peeter Perens: Song Festival the birth certificate of the Estonian people

08.07.19 ... The Song Festival is important because it is the birth certificate of the Estonian people, Peeter Perens, artistic director of the XXVII Song and XX Dance Festival, said following the end of the festival's final concert on Sunday night.

Gallery: Song Festival Grounds nearly spotless by midday Monday

08.07.19 ... The two-day XXVII Song Festival "My Fatherland is My Love" ("Minu Arm" in Estonian), which celebrated the 150th anniversary of the first Estonian Song Festival in 1869, saw some 100,000 performers and spectators alike at the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds on Saturday and Sunday. By midday Monday, the grounds were nonetheless nearly spotless already.

Gallery, video: Diaspora Estonians dance at Freedom Square

08.07.19 ... While not part of the official XXVII Song and XX Dance Festival program, more than 300 dancers from diaspora (väliseesti) Estonian troupes from around the world danced together at Freedom Square on Sunday, in a performance aptly titled "Ühendusmaa on Eestimaa" ("The Uniting Country is Estonia").

Gallery, videos: Second XXVII Song Festival concert 'My Love'

07.07.19 ... The second and final concert of the XXVII Song Festival, "My Fatherland is My Love" ("Minu Arm" in Estonian), began at 2:00 p.m. EEST (7 a.m. EDT) on Sunday, lasting through 9:30 p.m.

Song Festival ticket sales halted, capacity capped at 95,000

07.07.19 ... Nearly 60,000 tickets were sold in advance to the second and final concert of the XXVII Song Festival "My Fatherland is My Love" ("Minu Arm" in Estonian) on Sunday, where a total of 35,000 people are performing. Song Festival organizers made the call on Sunday to cap total capacity at 95,000 for safety and security reasons, halting ticket sales to the concert. People without tickets are being advised not to come to the gates.

Gallery, video: XXVII Song Festival concert 'To the Teacher'

07.07.19 ... The Song Festival flame reached Tallinn Song Festival Grounds together with the parade of 47,000 performers of the XXVII Song and XX Dance Festival "My Fatherland is My Love" ("Minu Arm" in Estonian) on Saturday afternoon. The flame in the tower was lit to Friedrich Kuhlbars' "Koit," marking the opening of the jubilee Song Festival.

President Kaljulaid: Fellow Estonians, it is time to sing

06.07.19 ... President Kersti Kaljulaid, the first President of the Republic of Estonia to herself perform in the Song and Dance Festival, addressed the crowd at the first concert of the XXVII Song Festival on Saturday evening, stressing that it is song that makes Estonians free. ERR News has reproduced the president's speech in full.

Gallery: 47,000 performers march in Song and Dance Festival parade

06.07.19 ... A total of over 47,000 performers are participating in the Song and Dance Festival parade, with which the Song Festival flame will be delivered to the Song Festival Grounds for the opening of the XXVII Song Festival "My Fatherland is My Love" ("Minu Arm" in Estonian). ETV and ERR.ee are broadcasting the hours-long parade live.

Photos: Some singers, dancers celebrating festival at maternity hospital

06.07.19 ... ERR readers have been sharing all kinds of photos from the XXVII Song and XX Dance Festival "My Fatherland is My Love" ("Minu Arm") in Estonian, from preparations, breaks and behind-the-scenes shots to performances themselves. A number of singers and dancers, however, have ended up celebrating the double-jubilee festival at Pelgulinn Maternity Hospital instead.

Folk dancer proposes to partner at final Dance Festival performance

06.07.19 ... A member of the Tallinn University of Technology (Taltech) folk dance troupe Kuljus proposed to his partner in the middle of the third and final performance of the XX Dance Festival "My Fatherland is My Love" ("Minu Arm" in Estonian) on at Tallinn's Kalev Stadium on Friday evening. She said yes.

Gallery, full video: Final performance of XX Dance Festival

06.07.19 ... The sold-out third and final performance of the XX Dance Festival "My Fatherland is My Love" ("Minu Arm" in Estonian) was held on Friday evening, bringing 10,500 dancers and gymnasts to Tallinn's Kalev Stadium in the culmination of years of work and rehearsals. ERR broadcast the performance live on several TV channels and radio stations as well as online.

Gallery: Veteran festival leaders given Song and Dance Festival decorations

06.07.19 ... For the first time in the event's 150-year history, Song and Dance Festival coin brooches (kodarrahad in Estonian) were awarded in honor of longstanding commitment to the Estonian Song and Dance Festival.

ERM offering folk costume first aid at Song and Dance Festival

05.07.19 ... The Tartu-based Estonian National Museum (ERM) is on site at the double-jubilee XXVII Song and XX Dance Festival "My Fatherland is My Love" ("Minu Arm" in Estonian) in order to offer advice, provide emergency repairs as well as hold workshops.

Gallery: Despite rain, 800 musicians perform at Folk Music Festival

05.07.19 ... Part of the program of the more widely known Song and Dance Festival is the Folk Music Festival, which this year brought together 800 musicians to perform for audiences at Tallinn's Freedom Square. The Song Festival flame likewise arrived at Freedom Square for the occasion, heralded by the bells of St. John's Church.

Gallery: ERR preparing to broadcast final performance of XX Dance Festival

05.07.19 ... Over ten thousand dancers and thousands more spectators will fill the field and stands at the sold-out third and final performance of the XX Dance Festival "My Fatherland is My Love" ("Minu Arm" in Estonian). ETV will be broadcasting the performance live beginning at 5:45 p.m. EEST (10:45 a.m. EDT), and viewers worldwide can watch the broadcast at ERR.ee.

Dance Festival interpreted for people with visual impairments

05.07.19 ... With the help of audio description, festivalgoers with visual impairments were able to watch the final dress rehearsal of the XX Dance Festival "My Fatherland is My Love" ("Minu Arm" in Estonian) on Thursday. Estonian Blind Union chairman Jakob Rosin told ERR that this allowed him to see the dance festival for the first time.

Gallery, video: First performance of XX Dance Festival

05.07.19 ... Following years of preparations, learning and rehearsals, including several days of mass rehearsals in Tallinn, the jubilee XX Dance Festival opened with its first of three sold-out performances at Kalev Stadium on Thursday evening.

Song and Dance Festival may be wet one as storm approaches Estonia

04.07.19 ... A low-pressure system is approaching Estonia from Scandinavia, bringing with it heavier winds and downpours. According to the Estonian Weather Service's forecast, Tallinn may end up close to the eye of the storm on Friday, which means conditions may not be as severe, but performers and attendees at the XXVII Song and XX Dance Festival taking place from Thursday through Sunday nonetheless cannot rule out the likelihood of very rainy and windy weather.

Galleries: Dancers hold final rehearsals for Dance Festival

04.07.19 ... The final two rehearsals for the XX Dance Festival to begin on Thursday evening was held at Kalev Stadium in Tallinn earlier that day. While the morning rehearsal saw some dancers in combinations of folk costume vests, linen shirts and shorts, or wool skirts and headdresses with dance troupe t-shirts, the final rehearsal in the afternoon was a full dress rehearsal, complete with stands full of crowds.
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