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NEWS - 9. April 2018 12:50

This year's SEB Audience Award went to Juuli Lill and René Soom

For the eighth time, the Estonian National Opera and SEB presented the Audience Awards to the best female and male soloist, as selected by opera-goers. This year the audience chose Juuli Lill and René Soom as their favourites. The awards were presented in a festive ceremony on 6 April, before the performance of Tosca. This is the second time that these soloists have received the Audience Award.

Publikupreemia 2018 võitjadThe winners were selected from among the permanent opera soloists of the Estonian National Opera, by means of an audience poll, and both favourites received a bonus of EUR 2000 and an award trophy – two applauding hands, a work conceived in cooperation with the metalworking department of the Estonian Academy of Arts and the artist Nils Hint. Ten lucky voters received an EUR 20 gift ticket from the Estonia Theatre.

‘The cooperative relationship between SEB and the Estonian National Opera goes back many years. The people of the Estonia Theatre are characterised by their proactivity, willingness to give back to the community, the extraordinary drive to start interesting projects and the courage to experiment. The emotions we get from visiting the National Opera are always just so great!’ said Allan Parik, Chairman of the Management Board of SEB Bank.

‘I’m really happy to see that there is something positive, definite and lasting that comes each spring – the SEB Audience Award,’ said Aivar Mäe, General Manager of the Theatre. ‘Once again, our guests were able to provide their input and help SEB make two hard-working and beloved singers happy. Recognition by the audience is the greatest praise of all,’ added Mäe.

Juuli Lill has studied singing at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, the Estonian Academy of Music and the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. She has also studied under Professor Gotcha Bezutshvili, in Tbilisi, and Lucy Arner and Ira Siff, in New York. Juuli Lill has been a soloist at the Estonian National Opera since 2006. Her current repertoire includes the following roles: Maria (The Colours of Clouds by Puur), Adelaide (The Bird Seller by Zeller), Miss Bock (Karlsson on the Roof by Aints/Wimberg), Carla Schlumberger (Die Zirkusprinzessin by Kálmán), Annina (La Traviata by Verdi), Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro by Mozart), Mary (The Flying Dutchman by Wagner) and others. Juuli Lill was recently awarded the annual Estonian Theatre Award for her equally convincing performance of the humorous characters Cherubino and Baroness Adelaide and the tragic Maria in the opera Le Nozze di Figaro, the operetta The Bird Seller, and the original work The Colours of Clouds.

René Soom has studied classical singing at the Tallinn Georg Ots Music School and the Estonian Academy of Music. He has also attended the masterclasses of Hartmut Höll, Rudolf Piernay and Gerhard Kahry. René Soom has worked at the Estonian National Opera since1997, performing as a soloist since 2005. His roles include Schaunard (La Bohème by Puccini), Wolfram (Tannhäuser by Wagner), Aristide de Faublas (Ball im Savoy by Ábrahám), Edwin and Bon (Die Csárdásfürstin by Kálmán), Morales (Carmen by Bizet), Sagrestano (Tosca by Puccini), Captain Castel-Jaloux (Cyrano de Bergerac by Tamberg), Baron Douphal (La Traviata by Verdi), Marullo (Rigoletto by Verdi), Henry Higgins (My Fair Lady by Loewe) and others. He has been presented with the Marje and Kuldar Sink Young Singer’s Award (2006), the Harju County Theatre Award (2009) and the Georg Ots Award (2012).

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