TALLINN - Estonia has given birth to many excellent composers and musicians, and Georg Ots is definitely one of them.
It is little surprise then, to come across his name, whether it be on a street sign, a university building or in conversation. And now, 30 years after his death, his name will be gleaming from the Tallinn Linnehall Walls. On Nov. 18, the premier of the musical “Georg” will resurrect the musician’s unmistakable music.
A humorous look at the life of one of Estonia’s most popular icons, “Georg” will most likely have audiences gleaming with nostalgia. His generation-spanning songs, both poignant and passionate, are subtly woven into his biographical story. One thing’s for sure; the story of this phenomenal individual will bore nobody.
Music ran deep in Georg’s family. His father, Karlis Ots, was already a renowned tenor by the time Georg was born in 1920. Growing up in Petrograd (Soviet Russia), Georg’s music later earned fame both in his native Estonia and today’s Russia. He also had a large audience in many East European countries. The musician has been described as a “connecting link,” as almost everyone - despite age, nationality or class - liked his music.
Georg began singing in a boy’s choir when he was 12. This was perfect training for what would soon become a path to fame. It wasn’t until 1944 that the young man had his solo opera debut; a tiny part in the opera “Eugene Onegin.” Despite the small size of his role, Georg’s voice soared. Soon he ..........
.......... became the most beloved and admired member of the company, singing with it until his death in 1975.
His career culminated in 1958 with the release of the musical film “Mister X.” This movie was an immediate success, and launched Georg into world-fame. The Estonian’s voice could be heard on radio and TV almost anywhere in the Soviet Union. He became a welcomed performer in prestigious opera houses, and was especially popular in Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater.
That same year, Georg was awarded the title of People’s Artist of the U.S.S.R. Although he loved to perform songs by Schubert, Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky and several other modern Russian composers, the opera singer was also a devoted interpreter of Estonian folk songs.
Georg received much acclaim during his lifetime. After his death, he was considered so important that he had a street, a music college, and a song contest named after him. More recently, Estonians opened the Georg spa hotel on Saaremaa Island. But this comes nowhere close to the honor he received in 1997, when a Russian scientist named a newly discovered planet Georg Ots.
“Georg” is a powerful, intimate and emotional evening of theater. Those in the audience who remember will travel back in time with Georg, while younger members will stare wide-eyed in wonder. The spectacular musical includes evergreen hits of the time and some well-known arias from international operettas – music that can be enjoyed by every opera fan.
Nov. 18. (Premier)
Tickets : 95 – 375 kroons (6-24 euros)