Noblessner's foundry 7.30 p.m. (Tööstuse Street)


Dominy Clements's musical drama about the life of Bernhard Schmidt

Director and designer Giuseppe Frigeni

Musical director Tõnu Kaljuste

Costume designer Reet Aus

Endrik Üksvärav

Maria Valdmaa

Flute octet BlowUp! (Netherlands)

Nargen Opera Choir

Choirmaster Sander Tamm

The opera is performed in English with Estonian subtitles. Translated into Estonian by Joel Sang

Bernhard Schmidt (1879-1935) was an inventor from the Estonian island of Naissaar. Most of his working life was spent in Germany, and he achieved renown before World War I as a maker of high quality large scale lenses and parabolic astronomical mirrors. With his single but unusually sensitive hand and using relatively primitive tools he was able to perform fantastically precise work. His invention – a mirror telescope with a huge field of view – forever marked his name in the history of astronomy, and very soon many such telescopes were watching the sky. The name Bernhard Schmidt, a man with an unusual life story, is however not widely known in his home country, despite his achievements in optics and astronomy. This musical work about Bernhard Schmidt's life, specially created for the Nargen Festival, goes some way towards filling in this blank. The author of the libretto and music is British/Dutch composer Dominy Clements and the production is staged by a renowned Italian director Giuseppe Frigeni. The performance is exceptional, with an orchestra consisting solely of flutes – eight musicians playing flutes of all sizes from piccolo to subcontrabass flute, and the score enhanced with thrilling electronic effects.