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Tartu City Day 2019 – Opera Crosses Over vol. 4

29 June, City Day, is a busy day in Tartu with lots of fun and interesting things happening and this summer it`s the case already the day before!

In recent years people have been searching for and finding Tartu on the city’s special day through opera and classical music. In playful mood, opera will be poking its head out of doors for a short time again this summer and promenading itself through the city. Tartu City Day invites lovers of opera and classical music to come together to hear and see for themselves how opera crossovers¹ between different genres and performers are born. A gala concert will be taking place on Town Hall Square at 21:00.

As part of the ‘Living Streets’ project there will also be some special excitement this time. The keywords here are 3D street art, new city buses, a headphone disco, a supersized cinema screen and a mini-song festival in a location you wouldn’t normally expect such an event to be held. As a UNESCO literary city, Tartu – at the behest of its resident bookworms – is also calling on its writers to hold another book fair. Authors will be installing themselves in front of the main building of the Vanemuine Theatre to sell books and chat to readers on 28 June, the day before Tartu City Day.

‘Living Streets’ is an initiative as part of which a thoroughfare which sees a lot of use is temporarily closed off to traffic and transformed into a place for people to meet and spend time together. The project is designed to give townsfolk the chance to look at city streets from a new angle and also aims to support walking, cycling and the use of public transport.

On Tartu City Day everyone in the city – which is in the running to become a European Capital of Culture – can have some fun, gain some wisdom and enjoy some fantastic concerts. There will be excursions investigating the very heart of the city, and Tartu’s museums and libraries will also be getting into the spirit of things.

Since 2003 Tartu has been celebrating its City Day on 29 June, which in the traditional folk calendar is known as the Day of Peter and Paul in reference to the Christian apostles who died as martyrs on that very day in the year 67. In the Middle Ages they were the patron saints of Tartu, and their key and sword are depicted on the city’s coat of arms.

¹ Opera Crosses Over. This musical title, coined as part of Tartu City Day in 2016, refers to a joint concert of opera soloists and other classical music performers, as well as non-opera singers, during which they take themselves out of their comfort zone by dipping into one another’s repertoires – and surprising the audience with the results. Nobody takes themselves, one another or the weather too, too seriously during the concert. The audience normally comprises everyone from genre puritans and dyed-in-the-wool opera lovers to those who don’t really have any feelings about opera one way or the other (well, so far).