Estonian National Opera House

Estonian National Opera House, Auditorium, seating 700 spectators. Ceiling painting by Elmar Kits, Richard Sagrits and Evalt Okas

Estonian National Opera House

The Jugend-classicistic theatre building designed by Finnish architects Armas Lindgren and Wivi Lönn was the largest building in the early 20th century Tallinn. One side of the two-wing building was intended for a theatre and the other for a concert hall. This is so also today. Between the magnificent flanks was a lower part which housed a restaurant (the White Hall) and a cloistered inner court which gave colour to the building. The theatre and concert building was inaugurated on 24 August 1913. Just a year later, after the outbreak of the World War I, the theatre building was housing a military hospital. The balcony side of the concert hall was used as an Orthodox church. As the theatre hall had not been taken over by the military, the actors continued to play at their own expense. During the Soviet aerial bombardment of 9 March 1944, the theatre building was destroyed together with many others. The building was renovated in the second half of 1940ies according to the designs by Alar Kotli and Edgar Johan Kuusik. Alar Kotli’s design was inspired by neo-classicism of the 1930ies and by the Stalinist classicism pertaining to the post-war period. The architect tried to preserve the look of the Estonia Avenue side façade of the building and completely changed other façades. The interior was also changed from Jugend style to a more sombre classicist design.

In the autumn of 2004 the theatre hall got a new and modern stage, in 2005 the theatre hall and the rooms for the audience were renovated before the celebrations of a centenary of the professional “Estonia” theatre. On 6 September 2013 the opera house celebrated its centenary.

Theatre is seating 700 spectators.

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