NPO Tartu Üliõpilasmaja
24 June 2018
Despite the cold north wind, heavy rain and a temperature of only 11 degrees, nearly 1,500 people came to see the ‘The Songs of Midsummer’ song celebration and concert performance.
Ain Mäeots, director of ‘The Songs of Midsummer’, emphasised that the weather was also difficult for the performers and praised the students’ enthusiasm and tenacity.
“It is unique in the world how Estonian spectators defy the weather at open-air events. I’ve travelled quite a lot and visited festivals and summer performances around the world. It’s clear that there would have been a lot more people in beautiful weather, but we cannot do anything to influence the weather and to hell with it,” said the director.
“Why do we do such events, if we know this? The Finns have a good word for it – ‘fortitude’. It is our fortitude that makes us act. It is an algorithm that has evolved over thousands of years. Such a festival is one of life’s blessings,” commented Mäeots. He added that he sees how the relationship between performers has deepened due to the need to endure the bad weather.
“I bow to all who took the trouble to come,” added Mäeots.
Today, in spite of the rain, nearly 4,000 Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian participants marched in a procession from the University of Tartu to the Song Festival Grounds, where both joint songs and special repertoire dedicated to Midsummer Day were performed. Around 3,000 singers, dancers and musicians performed at the Song Festival Grounds today.
Indrek Hargla and Ain Mäeots cooperated to create four short films for the festival, which tell about the summer solstice, love, freedom and the deeper meaning of the Midsummer bonfires. See one of the films HERE.
A VIDEO GALLERY FROM THE RAINY MIDSUMMER DAY CELEBRATION AT THE TARTU FESTIVAL GROUNDS CAN BE FOUND HERE. (Photos: Timo Arbeiter)
The artistic director of ‘The Songs of Midsummer’ is Kuno Kerge (Tartu Academic Male Choir), the director is Ain Mäeots (Vanemuine Theatre) and the scriptwriter of the production is Indrek Hargla. The music team of the concert includes a number of renowned conductors, such as Alo Ritsing, Triin Koch, Aivar Leštšinski and Jana Perens.
The project is being supported by Estonia 100, the Ministry of Education and Research, the Ministry of Culture, the City of Tartu, the Rectors Conference, the University of Tartu, the Estonian University of Life Sciences and the Estonian National Museum.
Photo: Timo Arbeiter