January issue of Estonian magazine Teater.Muusika.Kino brings the second part of an article by Madis Nurms about color stereotypes. The piece explores the conventions of using color in the contemporary productions of romantic operas. Namely the tendencies of costume designers to pair certain colors with particular roles.
Could the presence of these stereotypes in the contemporary productions of nineteenth century opera be proven by using statistical data? And if so, can costume designers derive from them without damaging the audience’s perception of characters or the narrative of the opera? Can the playful nature of Regietheater be expanded onto the field of costume design – can the designers really get away with experimenting with color?
Have a look here for the costume drawings and a sneak-peek video.
In the October issue of Estonian magazine Teater.Muusika.Kino an article by Madis Nurms about color stereotypes can be found.
The article looks into the color conventions in representing the popular characters in the contemporary productions of nineteenth century opera. In other words: the tendencies of costume designers to pair certain colors with particular roles.
Musicologist Kristel Pappel writes of her impressions from "Pierrot Lunaire in the fresh issue of monthly classical music magazine "Muusika" giving the production an excellent review:
Nurms succeeded splendidly in walking on the edge of different eras - images and colors referring to 20th century cubism and Art Nouveau with contemporary refined, playful fashion design, all united under the term "stylization"
This Sunday, April 8, 2018 marks the premiere of a new dance piece "Blue" by Kalli Pikas at the Karlova Theatre, Tartu. Design of "Blue" mixes mandalas painted using traditional methods with projected video and lighting to create an unique light-play on the dancers bodies and in the performance space.
Pierrot Lunaire, Op. 21 ("Moonstruck Pierrot" or "Pierrot in the Moonlight") is a landmark in modern music by Arnold Schoenberg. It consists of 21 poems set to atonal music. The expressionistic text of the piece echoes German cabaret and is performed using Sprechgesang - an otherworldly style of dramatic vocalization intermediate between speech and song. A moonstruck production of "Pierrot Lunaire" opens 31 of March 2018 with soprano Ksenia Kuchukova in the title role. Date of the premiere also happens to mark the second Full Moon in March; a rare occurrence termed "the blue moon".
Désirée Nick is a multi-faceted artist, known for her performances as an actress/singer from manifold performances at the Friedrichstadtpalast, Komische Oper Berlin, the Renaissance Theater, Volksbühne, Gorki Theater etc.
The cabaret program balances between glamour, grotesque and comedy, it offers a cross-section of the music from the Golden Twenties, the decade of the 1920s in Germany. She is accompanied by pianist Adam Benzwi, conductor of the Komische Oper Berlin and a specialist of popular music from the twenties and thirties.
The bittersweet story of a glamorous courtesan Violetta Valéry has it's premieré tomorrow at the Kaunas State Musical Theatre with Anna Denisova from Mariinsky Theatre and Ilya Silchukov and Victor Mendelev from the Bolshoi State Opera of Belarus in the main roles.
When a glamorous call girl Violetta Valéry finds love in her admirer Alfredo Germont, it seems nothing can keep them apart. But the rules of society and family expectations betray them, and Violetta’s fate takes a tragic turn.
Ballet "Kratt" (choreographed by Marina Kesler) lights up the stage of Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg on October 23th and Alexander Theatre in Helsinki on November 21-22, 2017. The guest performances coincide with the release of the DVD of the production. DVD was produced by Estonian Public Broadcasting and directed by a seasoned TV director Ruti Murusalu who specializes in capturing dance on film.
It's time to raise the curtain on
Giuseppe Verdi's "Aida" for only three performances this year.
Soloists of this production are of many nationalities (Lithuania, Ukraine, Belarus, Latvia and Estonia) so the performances are quite rare. There are only three shows of "Aida" in 2017.
"In theory the idea of opera-thug Nurms directing the utterly lyrical „Aida“ seems like an act of aesthetic vandalism or even an iconoclasm. In practice the meeting of the romantic opera and a postmodernist director/designer turned out to be rather exciting, with all the virtues and disadvantages of the experiment itself."
Postimees - June 2nd 2015
Here are the new pictures of "La Traviata" by photographer Tiit Mõtus and some rehearsal footage with interviews in both Estonian and Russian.
For a few August nights, the imposing ruins of the Pirita monastery are turned into a modern opera house where various genres of musical theatre are performed. This year a performance of "La Traviata" lights up the dim August nights.
The stage is already set for tomorrow's premieré - Indrek Kornel's dance piece "Waiting". The performance is site-specific and takes place at the Museum of Occupations. The location is specially adapted for the choreography and performing at a museum gives a playful dimension to the subject matter of the piece.
Today is the second performance of a new production of Verdi's "La traviata" at the Pärnu Concert Hall.
The design of the opera is based on the concept of downfall and decay. The subject of fading fairness becomes especially relevant in the story of a fallen woman who’s only valued for her external beauty. The sharp angles and brilliant surfaces of the set design are meant to form an urban background for the sinister costumes – and to bring to life the “crowded desert which is known to men as Paris.”
The experimental short-ballet "Nocturne", inspired by nocturnal creatures and music by Frédéric Chopin will be performed tonight for the first time at the stage of Estonian National Opera in Tallinn.
"La traviata" by Giusepe Verdi will open today at Vanemuine Theatre, Tartu.
The stage director of the production is Anu Lamp, musical director Erki Pehk, set and costume designer Madis Nurms, co-director/choreographer Ingmar Jõela, lighting designer Margus Vaigur and video designer Janek Karakatš.
Short ballet "Nocturne" choreographed by Tõnu Veiler, designed by Madis Nurms will premieré on May 8th at the Estonian National Opera. The scenography uses abstract video-visuals that react to the impulses from the music. So every time there is a change in the music of Chopin, the stage visuals will slightly alter.
Here's another look into the workshops of Kaunas State Music Theatre. Video shows the sets and costumes getting ready for the first stage rehearsals of "La traviata". Premieré on May 5th 2017.
Today the soloists of "Waiting" - dance piece by Indrek Kornel - wear their finished costumes for the first dress-rehearsal.
The "memory gowns" are made of two metallic fabrics with different density to create the unusual form and are adorned with images of importance from the performers past.
Here's an opportunity to peek into the workshops and get a glimpse of some of the costumes that are prepared for short-ballet "Nocturne".
The costumes are made using laser cutting technology. A laser is used to cut abstract patterns into different materials. All the fabrics that are picked for the ballet play with light - are either sheer, luminous or reflective. The design uses them together with the cutting technology and directional theatre lights to create an unique visual effect and to highlight the dancers movements in the darkness.
See the video of "La traviata" set and costumes being prepared at the Kaunas State Music Theatre.
The music of the ballet is by Frédéric Chopin who composed his nocturnes - 21 pieces for solo piano - between 1827 and 1846. They are generally considered among the finest short solo works for the instrument and hold an important place in contemporary concert repertoire.
Rehearsals of dance performance "Waiting" have reached a point where the entire performance can be run from beginning to end, exactly as the real performances will be.
In "Waiting" two seasoned dancers Reet Paavel and Ülle Toming, both in their sixties, use their changed bodies to tell a story about their love for dance. The world of professional dance can be ruthless - in each passing year, many of its brightest stars are replaced by fresher, much younger bodies. While experience and longevity are still respected, the dancers need to be on the stage dies hard.
Today the set and costume designs for an upcoming staging of G.Verdi's "La traviata" are transferred to Kaunas State Music Theatre, Lithuania. Based on these drawings both the set and costumes are made in the workshops of the theatre.
The design of the opera is based on the concept of downfall and decay. The sharp angles and brilliant surfaces of the set design form an urban background for the sinister costumes.
The choreographer of the piece is Marina Kesler, music director Vello Pähn, set designer Madis Nurms, costume designer Gerly Tinn, lights by Karmen Tellisaar and video by Argo Valdmaa.
Two seasoned dancers Reet Paavel and Ülle Toming, both in their sixties, use their changed bodies to tell a story about their love for dance. The world of professional dance can be ruthless - in each passing year, many of its brightest stars are replaced by fresher, much younger bodies. While experience and longevity are respected, the dancers need to be on the stage dies hard.
Promising young choreographer Indrek Kornel now explores the themes of changing bodies and the urge to stay active in a piece both nostalgic and light-hearted. The main subject is how to find ways for retired dancers to reinvent themselves as the world around them is inevitably changing. The performance is set to the music of Sergei Prokofiev and uses an excerpt of Ludwig van Beethoven’s sonata.
This week marks the beginning of rehearsals of "La traviata" - an opera by Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi. Premieré will take place on May 5th, 2017 at Vanemuine Theatre, Tartu. The stage director of the production is Anu Lamp, musical director Erki Pehk, set and costume designer Madis Nurms, choreographer Ingmar Jõela and lighting designer Margus Vaigur.
This production of "Aida" has a happy ending – giving hope that a way out has to exist even from the most hopeless situation. And the opera is ended, fittingly, by the character who changes most during the events – princess Amneris, saying to the audience, the cast but most of all to herself: “Peace!”. An appeal which gains a profound significance in the uncertain world that surrounds us today.
This Sunday, October 16th, ballet "Kratt" (The Goblin) by Eduard Tubin will be performed at the Helikon Opera. Helikon Opera is a Russian opera company based in Moscow, specializing in unconventional productions. The company was founded by stage director Dmitry Bertman and gave its first performance in 1990.
First of the performances takes place on Thursday, October 6th.
The first model of the beret that belongs to the uniform of the Estonian Volunteer Rescuers was finished today. From this unique model all future berets for the volunteers are developed.
As of September "Kratt" (the Goblin) is back on the stage of Estonian National Opera. "Kratt" holds a special importance for the Estonians since it is based on national folklore and is also the first ballet with a score by an Estonian composer, Eduard Tubin.
Ballet "Undine" by Marina Kesler premieres today in the Estonian National Opera. Ballet celebrates the 70th anniversary of Tallinn Ballet School and in the leading roles are this year's graduates Marita Weinrank and Marjana Fazullina alongside with Jevgeni Grib, soloist of Estonian National Ballet.
"Undine" by Marina Kesler had it's first rehearsal on the stage of Estonian National Opera today. See the design HERE >>
Opera "Aida" is again on the stage of Vanemuine Theatre in Tartu. Since the cast for this production consists of many nationalities - singers from Lithuania, Ukraine, Belarus, Latvia and Estonia - the performances are quite rare. There are only three performances of "Aida" in the spring 2016. First of the three already on this Thursday.
This "Aida" has a happy ending – giving hope that a way out has to exist even from the most hopeless situation. And the opera is ended, fittingly, by the character who changes most during the events – princess Amneris, saying to the audience, the cast but most of all to herself: “Peace!”. An appeal which gains a profound significance in the uncertain world that surrounds us today.
An original ballet Undine by Marina Kesler premieres May 29th in the Estonian National Opera.
It is loosely based on the 1939 play “Ondine” by French dramatist Jean Giradoux and revolves around soulless water nymphs undines. Though inspired by mythical concept, the ballet explores day-to-day themes of faithfulness, jealousy and rage.
In the main roles are soloists of Estonian National Ballet and Tallinn Ballet School.
Undine, also spelled Ondine, is a mythological figure of European tradition, a female water nymph who becomes human when she falls in love with a man but is doomed to die if he is unfaithful to her.
Undine was first mentioned in the writings of the Swiss author Paracelsus, who put forth his theory that there are spirits called “undines” who inhabit the element of water. The word is from the Latin unda, meaning “wave” or “water.”See the design HERE >>
In the March issue of Estonian magazine Teater.Muusika.Kino an article by Madis Nurms about blackface makeup and it’s usage in opera can be found. Blackface is a form of theatrical makeup used by performers to represent a black person. By the mid-20th century, changing attitudes about race and racism effectively ended the prominence of blackface makeup used in performance in theatre. One major exception is opera where blackface is still today widely regarded as normal and acceptable.
Contemporary scenographer can approach the usage of black makeup in operas like “Aida” and “Otello” in basically three different ways: a) use it in decorative fashion - see it separated from it’s social context and historical background b ) in declaratory way - using it to stress the issues of race and racism ( a la Hans Neuenfels ) or c ) to abandon its use altogether.
Full article (in Estonian) can be read HERE >>
Member of the parliament Mr. Artur Talvik wore a festive uniform designed for volunteer sea rescue teams at the reception of the President of the Republic of Estonia and Mrs. Ieva Ilves on the Estonian Independence Day. Talvik is well-known Estonian film producer and screenwriter.
Year 2016 marks the 65th anniversary year of Tartu Art School. To celebrate the jubilee, teachers and school staff will display their art in a very diverse exhibition showing paintings, watercolors, top-class crafts, music, poems, graphics, furniture, and much more. Exhibit also features three costumes from the ballet "GO - a Game for Two".
Opening of the exhibition will take place on February 23 at 12.15 in the lobby of the school. All are welcome!
Dress code of the event is blue black and white
Production preview video of ballet "Kratt" (Goblin) at the Estonian National opera. Some parts of the set design will make their debut at the end of this video.
“The Goblin” is the first Estonian ballet as well as Eduard Tubin’s first work for a music theatre. The work is based on a mythical character from Estonian folklore, the Goblin, whose sole purpose is to serve his greedy master, the Farmer, in obtaining riches. In Marina Kesler’s rendition, the story crosses the borders of one nation’s folklore: in a contemporary money-hungry world the Goblin is like a voice in people’s head, finding excuses why there is never enough money.
Giuseppe Verdi's "Aida", directed and designed by Madis Nurms is performed tomorrow August 12th at Pirita convent, Tallinn during the 11th Birgitta Festival.
EVRA is a non-profit organisation established in order to unite different voluntary rescue organisations and represent, execute and protect their interests. Today the Association has 96 member organisations, which represent 103 voluntary fire squads and 29 sea rescue teams. Through legal entities it unites more than 2000 people.
The preparations of ballet "Kratt" ("The Goblin") are well on their way in the Workshops of Estonian National Opera. The ballet is based on Estonian folklore, the composer of the piece is Eduard Tubin, choreographer Marina Kesler, stage designer Madis Nurms, costume designer Gerly Tinn, lights by Karmen Tellisaar and video by Argo Valdmaa.
See the design HERE >>
In September 2015 a new production on "Kratt" ("The Goblin") - a ballet by Estonian composer Eduard Tubin will be staged at the Estonian National Opera. The choreographer of the production will be Marina Kesler, set designer Madis Nurms.
See the design HERE >>
"Aida" is the next opera production of Pärnu International Opera Music Festival PromFest. It is staged as a cooperation project with Vanemuine Theatre.
The stage director of the piece is Madis Nurms who also designs the set and costumes of the piece, musical director and conductor Erki Pehk, choreographer Teet Kask, lighting designer Margus Vaigur and Movement director Jelena Karpova.
The premiere is on May 20th 2015.
See desingns for "Aida" HERE
Today the set and costume designs for an upcoming staging of G.Verdi's "Aida" were transferred to Theatre Vanemuine, Tartu.
The premiere of "Aida" will be on May 20th 2015 and it will be a co-production between Pärnu Inernational Opera Music Festival PromFest and Tartu Theatre Vanemuine.
See more sketches for the opera HERE >>
Solo exhibition of Madis Nurms was opened on the opening night of Teet Kask's ballet "GO - a Game for Two" in the small house of Vanemuine Theatre, Tartu.
Although the designer has mainly created costumes for the opera, this exhibition is focused on his costumes for dance and performances.
On display are stage costumes from different productions and though costumes are usually designed to be viewed from a distance, the audience now has an opportunity to have a closer look and also to feel the materials used.
"GO - a Game for Two" is an original ballet by Teet Kask, based on the music by Lepo Sumera. It premieres Saturday, October 25th at Theatre Vanemuine.
Here's an opportunity to see something before it is finished. Just a look at one of the costumes that are prepared for ballet "GO - a Game for Two" at the workshops of Theatre Vanemuine.
The first stage rehearsals of "GO" start tomorrow, October 7th.
Today the first costume fittings of the ballet "GO - a play for two" took place at Theatre Vanemuine, Tartu. "GO" is an original ballet staged by Teet Kask, based on the music by Lepo Sumera.
Today the set and costume designs for an upcoming dance performance "GO - a Game for Two" were transferred to Theatre Vanemuine, Tartu. "GO" is an original ballet staged by Teet Kask, based on the music by Lepo Sumera.
The fabrics for the ballet are mostly ordered from Germany, though some of the materials have been found in vintage shops and some are fabric remnants rescued from large textile stores. The central colour used is vibrant orange - the color of the beginning and end - hue of the sunrise and sunset.
The design is quite minimal and uses geometric shapes, drawing inspiration from the works of the Italian Futurists and Soviet Constructivists in the beginning of the 20th century.
“GO” will have it's premiere on October 25th 2014.
See more sketches for the ballet HERE >>
The opening ceremony of International Green Week (Grüne Woche) is held today January 16th in Berlin, Germany
Tsar's Bride by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov will have it's premiere tomorrow, November 16th, 2013 at the Kaunas State Musical Theatre, Lithuania.
This week the preparation process of the opening ceremony of International Green Week (Grüne Woche) takes place in Berlin, Germany.
The last chance to see the production of N.Rimsky-Korsakov's opera "Tsar's Bride" in Estonia is on Thursday, August 15th 2013. The performance will take place at the Brigitta Festival in Tallinn. The staging is specially adapted to the venue - a medieval monastery on the coast of Pirita bay.
The Grand Adagio from P. I. Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake" and ballet from G.Verdi's "Aida" were performed on the lake of the Palmse Manor during the concert by Eesti Kontsert in front of the audience of over 1000 persons.
See some pictures from the preparaton process HERE
Hear the interview about the exhibition by Tõnis Kipper at a local Radio Kadi in Estonian
The new production of Tsar's Bride, opera by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov was announced this Monday. The premiere is on June 6th 2013 at Endla Theatre, Pärnu.
The last chance to see the ballet "Ohlala...Ça c’est passé comme ça" by Tõnu Veiler in Estonia on Monday, June 4th 2012.
The costumes of G.Verdi's "Attila" shown at the solo exhibition of works of Madis Nurms travel back to Kaunas tomorrow, March 13th. Rest of the exhibition will stay opened until March 31st.
On April 2nd 2012 a Paris-inspired ballet "Ohlala...Ça s’est passé comme ça" will premieré at the Russian Theatre, Tallinn
On thursday, 1 March an solo exhibition of Madis Nurms will be opened at the Tartu Art School. The exhibition focuses on the role of the designer in theater, the visitors are introduced to the process where sketches, drawings and models form the visual basis of a performance.
June 2nd 2011 opera "Attila" by G.Verdi will have it's first performance in Pärnu during the International Opera Music Festival PromFest. Opera is directed by Üllar Saaremäe, musical director Erki Pehk, scenography by Madis Nurms, choreography Oleg Titov, lighting design by Margus Vaigur.
On June 4th the ballet divertissement "Underwater Kingdom"
will have its second performance on the stage of Russian Theatre, Tallinn.
The first modules of the set design were assembled in the workshops of Pärnu Theatre. Also an ad-clip for the opera was filmed on the stage of Pärnu Theatre. Here's an overview of the process by Estonian Public Broadcasting News:
Monday 21st March Madis Nurms had meetings in the costume workshops of Kaunas State Musical Theatre, Lithuania and Pärnu Theatre Endla, Estonia.
Read the second part of the article by Madis Nurms about nakedness and its reception in opera productions. The article was published in the magazine Teater.Muusika.Kino and is in Estonian. The first part of the article was published in the December, second in the February issue.
This week the costume drawings for the soloists of "Attila" were transferred to Endla theatre, Pärnu. “Attila” will have its premiere on June 4th 2011 during the Pärnu International Opera Music Festival PromFest.
The original production of Verdi’s rare masterpiece will be staged by acknowledged drama director and actor Üllar Saaremäe.
See the first sketches HERE>>
Today, in about one hour the curtains will open for "Die Fledermaus" production in Parktheater, Eindhoven.
Yesterday was the last try out of Die Fledermaus in Burgas, Bulgaria. After the show set and costumes were packed and are now on their way to the Netherlands.
The set is still missing some key elements and needs finishing touches but the overall image is there. The main focus is now shifting from the workshops to the costume department, where the soloists are having their first fittings.
You can see the pictures of the process HERE
Madis Nurms is on a two day trip to Warsaw Poland. There he will visit the National Opera called the Grand Theatre.
From December 6-12 Madis Nurms was in Burgas, Bulgaria overseeing the preparations for „Die Fledermaus“. See the photos HERE >>