Tallinn Mass
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Life/Elu Patricia Rozario
Narrator Jaak Johanson
Kannel Laura Lindpere
Percussion Madis Metsamart
Conductor Mihhail Gerts
Devised by Heili Vaus-Tamm & Aarne Saluveer
Musical Advisor Eri Klas
Choirmasters Aarne Saluveer†, Endrik Üksvärav*
Estonian TV Girls’ Choir†
Collegium Musicale Chamber Choir*
Choir of Estonian Academy of Music & Theatre*


Executive Producer Heili Vaus-Tamm
Producer, Sound Engineer & Editor Philip Rowlands
Assistant Sound Engineer Tanel Klesmet
Choral trainers Aarne Saluveer†, Endrik Üksvärav*
Photography Sven Tupit
Video Tanel Ehala & Phil Rowlands


2481Since 1974, Doris Kareva (Librettist) has published poetry, essays and poetical prose as well as translations of world classics. Among other prizes she has received State Culture Awards in 1993 and 2005 and her poetry has been translated into about twenty languages.

The peculiarities of Kareva’s poetry are refined and selected vocabulary, an intertwining of euphonic attraction and silence, a perception of the world as at once miraculous and tragic, and subtle intonation. She is considered one of the best representatives of metaphysical and linguistically sensitive “pure lyrics” in the last decades of the 20th century.

2416Jürgen Rooste (Librettist) (1979) published his first poems at the end of the 1990s, emerging with a new powerful wave on young Estonian poets. Ever since he has published 11 collections of poetry on his own (awards for best poetry books for 2005 and 2012 collections) and several co-written books, mainly with close friends and poets Asko Künnap and Karl Martin Sinijärv – together they are sometimes known as the Three Pigglets.

Rooste has worked as a teacher, a journalist, project manager for Estonia Writers Union and also a couple of years for Estonian Institute in Finland, Helsinki. He still runs a series of poetry and jazz music events called Cabaret Interruptus, translates beat- and modern Finnish poetry.

He’s poems are a bit punk, a bit beat, a bit jazz, lately also Estonian folk-orientated. Sometimes Rooste is called a social poet, he himself finds it being alive, as a human.

Jessica-Duchen-2Jessica Duchen (English translation adapter) is an author and journalist based in London. She writes about music for The Independent and besides four novels and two biographies she has created a number of stage works for musicians and actors and several texts for musical setting, including Roxanna Panufnik’s choral work Let Me In. Of preparing the English text for Dance of Life, Jessica says: “This was a fascinating process, rather like writing a libretto inside-out! I had to create text that not only reflected a reasonably accurate translation of the Estonian poems, but that fitted the pre-existing music, felt natural in English, and was singable – e.g., with open vowels on long, high notes. Also, the whole ‘tone’ of the text had to be authentic: for instance, the Mayor’s words simply had to rhyme and be rhythmical, even if that rhythm is not identical to the Estonian version.” www.jessicaduchen.co.uk

2893Jaak Johanson (Narrator) (1959) was born in Tartu, South-Estonia. In 1982, he graduated from the Tallinn Conservatory with an acting degree and worked as a resident actor in the Tallinn Town Theatre until 1987. In that last year, together with outstanding Estonian director Merle Karusoo and some young actors and students, formed an independent socio-historical theatre project “Pirgu Memory Group” and for 5 years actively toured in Estonia and also among Estonian communities in Sweden, USA, Canada, collecting diaries, songbooks, photos, etc., recording and videoing the LIFESTORIES of the older generation who had had no chance to speak out, since the Soviet occupation was established in 1945. Several silently shocking documentary-based performances and song & story compositions were the outcome and artistic mission of these tours. The whole gathered archive is still being processed and systematized properly.

Since 1987, Jaak has also led a folklore programme at the Old Town House of Music, within the framework of a wider cultural – educational project in the medieval city of Tallinn.

Jaak has an active fascination with traditional music and has sung, since 1976, with “Leegajus”, a group of students, folklorists, enthusiasts, one of the few, that made efforts to draw attention to authentic unique Estonian singing and playing ways, especially the thousand years old RUNOSINGING. With the group, he has partaken of festivals in Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Moscow, Leningrad etc.

Other musical activities have included singing Jazz solo and quartet and traditional and original songs with his family group, made up of his 3 brothers and sister. Together they have toured in Finland, Sweden, Ireland, Norway, Hungary, Germany, USA, Canada, England, France, China, Russia, and Ukraine, amongst others.

Jaak has made radio programs about traditional music of different nations. He has also appeared on TV and made recordings, but very much prefers more eye to eye, face to face situations.

2454Born in Bombay, Patricia Rozario studied at London’s Guildhall School of Music, winning the Gold Medal, and then at the National Opera Studio. Her unique voice and artistry has inspired several of the world’s leading composers to write for her, most notably Arvo Pärt and Sir John Tavener. She has sung with Solti, Ashkenazy, Jurowski, Belohlavek, Gardiner, Pinnock and Davis, sung opera at Aix-en-Provence, Amsterdam, Lyon, Lille, Bremen, Antwerp, Wexford, ENO, Glyndebourne and Opera North, given concerts in North America, Canada, Russia, the Far East, Australia, throughout Europe, and all the major UK venues.

Patricia Rozario has had several awards conferred on her: the OBE , the Asian Women’s Award, the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman by the President of India, and the Fellowship of the Royal College of Music. www.patriciarozario.com

2900Mihhail Gerts (Conductor) belongs to the most profiled Estonian conductors of the younger generation. He finished his studies in the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre (concert piano, prof. Ivari Ilja and orchestral conducting, prof. Paul Mägi) and in the Academy of Music “Hanns Eisler”, Berlin (orchestral conducting, prof. Christian Ehwald and Prof. Hans-Dieter Baum). In 2011 he obtained the PhD. In 2013 he was accepted to the program “Dirigentenforum” by the German Music Council. From 2007 he is the staff conductor in the Estonian National Opera, where he has conducted more than 30 different productions. As a guest conductor he has appeared in Teatro La Fenice (Venice), Teatro delle Muse (Ancona), Mikhailovsky Theater (St. Petersburg), Northern Ballet (Leeds) and National Opera of Belarus (Minsk). He has also conducted orchestras like Konzerthausorchester Berlin, the MDR-Sinfonieorchester, the WDR Rundfunkorchester Köln, the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra etc. www.mihhailgerts.com

Conducted by Aarne Saluveer, the internationally acclaimed Estonian TV Girls’ Choir have toured all over the world, performing both liturgical and secular music with folk, pop and jazz performances too. They have collaborated with Estonian composers including Pärt, Tormis, Sisask and Kõrvits and appeared at numerous international conferences, symposiums, festivals including IFCM and ACDA symposiums, SSIMF in China, La Fabbrica del Canto in Italy, Polyfollia in France. ETVGC won Best Female Choir and best choir in all Categories at the Gorizia International Choral Music Competition and in 2005 first prize in the Youth category of the EBU International Choir Competition “Let the People Sing”. When Estonia celebrated its 90th anniversary as a Republic in 2008, the choir was chosen to bring a “musical gift” (Sisask’s “Veni Creator Spiritus”) to the UK. www.etvgirlschoir.ee

The Chamber Choir Collegium Musicale came together in October 2010 on the initiative of conductor Endrik Üksvärav. The choir aims to enrich and promote the Estonian professional music scene and to offer delightful musical experiences in and outside of Estonia. The repertoire of the choir ranges from Renaissance to the modern day: Gesualdo, Schütz, Bach, Messiaen, Rautavaara, Pärt, Tüür, Tormis etc. Collegium Musicale was named the Choir of the Year of 2011 and Endrik Üksvärav the Young Conductor of the Year by the Estonian Choral Association. Further information: www.collegiummusicale.ee

Guest performers from the Choir of Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre www.ema.edu.ee

The Tallinn Chamber Orchestra was founded in 1993 by conductor Tõnu Kaljuste.Though principally a string orchestra, leading wind players from the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and the Estonian National Opera participate regularly in the work of TCO.

Particularly in the early years, the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra worked very closely with the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and mutual concerts brought much international recognition to both groups. In 1993 a CD with Arvo Pärt’s “Te Deum” was released by ECM and this recording was at the top of several disc rankings for one year and brought great critical acclaim. Since then, TCO has recorded for Warner Classics, Finlandia Records, Carus Verlag amongst others.

The TCO has performed and many prestigious international Festivals such as Bremen, Settembre Musica (Turin), Bach Cantatas (Milan) and the Budapest Autumn Festival. The orchestra has toured widely in the US, Canada, Japan, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and in most of Europe. Chief conductors have included Tõnu Kaljuste, Jua Kangas, Eri Klas, Kristjan Järvi and Andres Mustonen. From September 2013 the orchestra’s principal conductor will be Risto Joost. www.filharmoonia.ee