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Leading cultural centres bring hope and show respect amidst the pandemic

Four cultural, concert and event centres across the Nordic hemisphere will be lit in green, the colour of hope, to show respect to everyone struggling from the current situation and to remind us of more hopeful times ahead. Leading cultural and concert centres from three countries across the Nordic hemisphere have joined forces in a campaign to bring hope to people, show respect and support to everyone facing the crisis. These cultural centres will be lit in green every night from Thursday, April 9th onwards for the time being. The campaign wishes to show support to everyone in these trying times: healthcare professionals, volunteers, parents, people suffering from loneliness or illness, the elderly and other people in quarantine, artist and all the others whose livelihood is threatened, and all those whose lives have been affected by the virus. These centres also want to invite anyone working in culture, music and events to join them in this campaign (#lightitupgreen), and send a public call for everyone to join. In doing so they also want to highlight the importance of international outreach even if the physical borders are now temporarily closed. ”Even though social distancing is preventing us from being close together, it is vital that we do not try to fight this alone. I am grateful to all our international friends in the culture and events industry for their endless support and help, for coming together also during this crisis, and for sharing their innovations and best practices so generously. We welcome everyone working in culture, music and events to join us in this campaign; it is more important than ever to cross boundaries and to seek for international perspective, learning and support”, states Ms. Paulina Ahokas, CEO of Tampere Hall. Aivar Mäe, General Manager of Estonian National Opera and Ballet continues: “Through this gesture, we want to bring hope and some light into people’s hearts. We also want to send a message to all the people in the world that once this crisis is over, all of us working in culture welcome our audiences back with open hearts.” The cultural centres are aware of their key role in bringing back hope, trust and economical activity once the crisis is over. “Those of us working in culture, arts and events have a big responsibility in keeping hope alive and continuing to share as much beautiful, inspirational music as we can. By doing so we remind people of the importance and relevance of arts and culture – particularly in times of deep crisis such as the one we are all living through today. These trying times will end and then we´ll come together again in our shared spaces and cultural centres to celebrate our common humanity and having gotten through this, first and foremost by supporting each other”, says Svanhildur Konráðsdóttir, CEO of Harpa. Kristiina Alliksaar, the Director of Vanemuine explains the joint decision for the colour: “Green symbolizes hope and harmony, and this is what we hope for everybody, wherever they might be and whatever their situation. In some parts of the world it is also the symbol for change. This crisis has already demanded a lot of creativity from everyone. We are convinced that the new challenges, and the need for innovation in our societies will be met with the support of the arts and culture.” The following cultural and events centres will be lit in green from April 9th onwards, every night: Tampere Hall and Tampere Opera in Finland, Harpa in Iceland, Estonian National Opera and Ballet and the Concert Hall in Estonia and Vanemuine Theatre in Estonia (lighting from sunset to sunrise). Photos: Contacts: Tampere Hall
  • Tampere Hall Ltd, celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, is a unique actor in its field, and one of the biggest cultural, congress and events companies in the Nordic Countries. It operates Tampere Hall services and facilities, and produces events both at Tampere Hall facilities and elsewhere via Events Tampere
  • Tampere Hall hosts 1000 events with 700 000 visitors annually. The facilities include 17 different spaces, including the Main Auditorium with 1900 seats. Tampere Hall has been chosen the best place to organize meetings in Finland seven consecutive times and is also the reigning Concert Hall of the Year in Finland as chosen by the Industry Awards at Music & Media. The innovative and agile Events Tampere unit produces city events, corporate events as well as offers professional congress organisation (PCO) services.
  • Tampere Hall is home to the only Moomin Museum in the world, hosting the prestigious collection of 2000 original art works by Tove Jansson donated to Tampere Art Museum. The 75th birthday of the Moomins is currently celebrated at the museum.
  • Tampere Hall’s resident orchestra, Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra, celebrates its 90th anniversary this year. It is the only full size symphony orchestra outside the capital of Finland, and by many measures, the most multifaceted orchestra in Finland with an exciting repertoire from symphonic concerts to ballet and opera and with a broad range of different audience education programmes.
  • Tampere Hall Live 24 hours during the closure:
Harpa, #harpareykjavik @harpareykjavik
  • Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre is without a doubt Reykjavík‘s most iconic landmark. Designed by the Danish firm Henning Larsen Architects in co-operation with Icelandic-Danish artist Ólafur Elíasson, it is a cultural and social centre at the heart of the city, featuring stunning views of the surrounding mountains and the North Atlantic Ocean. Harpa is the home of Iceland Symphony Orchestra, The Icelandic Opera and Reykjavík Big Band and offers some of the best facilities for concerts and conferences in Europe with a wide range of events numbering around 1400 annually.
  • Harpa has received numerous awards and prizes; was chosen one of the best concert halls of the new millennium by Gramophone Magazine and won multiple awards for architecture including the EU Mies van der Rohe Award in 2013, World Architecture Awards, Best Public Space – Arkitekturmassan Awards 2012 and United States Institute of Theatre Technology’s 2018 Merit Award.
  • Harpa is a must visit destination for tourists, and with its many world class halls and grand-scale award-winning architecture has attracted more than 12 million visits since its opening in 2011.
Estonian National Opera and Ballet
  • Being the largest theatre organisations in the country, Estonian National Opera and Ballet give over 275 performances a year, touring extensively both in Estonia and abroad. The beginning of Estonian National Opera can be traced to 1865, the theatre operates on professional level since 1906. The theatre has had several names throughout history. Since 1998 it bears the name Estonian National Opera and the ballet company is titled Estonian National Ballet since 2010.
  • In 1913 the theatre moved to the new building where Estonian National Opera is based today. The theatre building is one of the most significant public buildings in the Estonian capital that attracts thousands of tourists and houses regularly events of national importance.
  • During the month of April Estonian National Opera and Ballet will be streaming its’ performances online on theatre’s Facebook page. Every performance starts on Saturday at 7 PM and will remain online for a week.
Theatre Vanemuine
  • Vanemuine is the oldest theatre in Estonia, founded in Tartu in 1870 and is the only three-genre theatre in the region, staging music theatre (operas, operettas and musicals), dance theatre (classical ballet and modern dance) and drama.
  • The theatre has three different buildings and employs close to 400 people, including a ballet troupe with a highly international cast, and a large symphony orchestra. Vanemuine is a repertory theatre – every season the programme includes more than 40 different productions in a variety of genres, including around 15 premieres every season.
  • This year Vanemuine celebrates its 150th season. The theatre has always been an important cultural landmark in Estonia that carries the meaning and shows the way. Vanemuine is the theatre for grand stories, feelings and people.