Headline of the Day: Opera house discussions mired in cognitive dissonance

Headline of the Day: Opera house discussions mired in cognitive dissonance


norman lebrecht

June 09, 2021

It’s to do with an opera house refurb in Estonia.

Dull story, but hats off to that sub.



  • Gustavo says:

    While Järvi’s legacy is currently fighting on other (presumably better funded) battle fields…


    It’s the pandemic, of course.

  • Marfisa says:

    Dull story?

    “… a quarrel in a far-away country, between people of whom we know nothing”!

    I don’t think that sub knows what cognitive dissonance is.

  • BRUCEB says:

    I’m glad someone is out there making a case for this kind of thing. Save money refurbishing a beloved old venue, and use the savings to put on better productions without going into crippling debt (or engendering resentment by requiring ever-larger government subsidies, if your country has those).

  • Gustavo says:

    As a non-Estonian but a European, I think that an extension would be a good option to improve the venues while not losing the historically grown identity and atmosphere of the location (close to the historic city centre).

    I’ve been there 4 times to see a ballet (full-length Sleeping Beauty with the late Jüri Alperten) and 3 concerts with Neeme, Kristjan, Paavo, Marika and Kalle.

    It is actually quite a unique thing to have a mirrored layout of two halls (opera house and concert hall) connected by a hallway. It makes sense to refurbish but not give up these joint venues.

    OK, acoustics may be not quite up to standard, but as Arvo states, it is content that really matters at the end of the day.

    I mean, Chandos have done some really good releases of some rare repertoire of Martinu, Weiner, Suchon (who?); and I presume Olari’s Eller was also recorded there?

    So, Tallinn’s existing infrastructure is already contributing significantly and internationally to music as such!

    Never change a running system?

    Well, maybe some changes could be done, but don’t even think of replacing a running system (unless you have strong evidence showing that the system is down).