Sunday morning, a voice that could easily be considered a gift from God will resonate through the sanctuary of a local church. The community is invited to the service featuring this international opera performer.
Estonian born Taimo Toomast will share his musical talents with the congregation of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Wytheville.
It was Toomast’s voice that made his life quite different from his fellow Estonians early on. He began formally studying music in 1984.Within four years, he was performing with the National Opera of Estonia.
His talents made passage to Western Europe easier and by 1990, Toomast had worked his way to Vienna for further study and performances with the State Opera of Vienna in Austria.
Most recently, his career has found Toomast on stage in Germany and returning as a guest to the Estonian National Opera.
Toomast’s list of central roles appears daunting in its length, but among those most familiar to a wide audience would include Don Giovanni in Mozart’s opera by the same name, Marcel in Puccini’s “La Boheme,” and Figaro in Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville.”
Fluent in six languages, the 42-year-old Toomast has performed throughout much of Europe. Though he and his family now live in Spain, his daughter, Elisabeth, is spending time learning about America as a student at nearby Grayson County High School.
Fortunately for many residents of this area, a visit to his daughter brought Toomast to the region. During his time here, the father has willingly shared his time and talents with organizations to raise funds for causes and bring opera to Galax, Independence, Wytheville and other nearby towns.
Tonight (Tuesday), the baritone will present “A Night at the Opera” at 7 p.m. in the Grayson County High School auditorium in Independence. With all proceeds from the $10 tickets going to benefit the French Club’s trip to Quebec. In this case, his generosity is likely mixed with fatherly duty as his daughter is president of the French Club.
This Sunday, Dec. 19, Toomast and his accompanist Sherry Hoffman of Independence will present a church service program at St. John’s Episcopal Church on Main Street beginning at 10 a.m.
St. John’s minister, the Rev. Leland Smith, said Friday, “This is a great opportunity to have someone of that caliber in the community.”
Smith’s wife, Jan, noted that she had attended one of Toomast’s earlier concerts and had planned to leave during intermission, but was so overwhelmed by the beauty of his music she stayed through all the encores. “Join us,” she said inviting the community to this Sunday’s performance.
No admission will be charged, but a freewill offering will be taken.
While Toomast does charge a fee for some occasions, Jan noted that he does not for church services.
In his interview with the Gazette, Toomast said, “I hope the people will visit my concerts and after my concerts will hear more of this music. This is my hope, people can enjoy it.”