Estonia at the Usedom Music Festival – small country, big culture

The soprano Mirjam Mesak

In one of the most beautiful churches on the island of Usedom, the new world class of Estonian vocal art can be heard at the end of September.

Estonian soprano Mirjam Mesak answers three questions:

How important is my home country for me?

When I am asked how important my homeland is, the quote “Wherever life takes you, never forget where you come from” always comes to mind. I am very proud to be an Estonian who introduces my small country to a larger audience.

What do I owe to Estonia?

I owe Estonia my modesty, my appreciation for small things, my love for nature and my musicality. These things are in my blood, and I don’t think it would be exactly the same if I had been born somewhere else. Estonia is also an extremely resilient country that has developed tremendously in a very short time. I hope that I carry some of that quality in me as well.

Why does Estonia deserve to be heard?

It has an extremely rich and beautiful culture and nature. Estonians are sometimes a bit cautious about meeting new people because of their history, but one thing is for sure – once you make friends with an Estonian, you are friends for life!

About Estonian soprano Mirjam Mesak

Estonian soprano Mirjam Mesak is currently a member of the Bayerische Staatsoper ensemble where her appearances this season include Kirill Serebrennikov’s new production of The Nose conducted by Vladmir Jurowski and Barrie Kosky’s new production of The Cunning Little Vixen under Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla.

Despite the challenges of the last season, Mirjam appeared in an all-star cast of La bohème conducted by Asher Fisch, streamed internationally by the Bayerische Staatsoper, where her portrayal of Musetta was praised for its “beauty and elegance” (Opera Wire). She also appeared as Juliette in Simon Stone’s landmark production of Die tote Stadt under Kirill Petrenko, since released on DVD, which will be reprised this season in Munich. In Estonia she took part in a number of gala concerts with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra under Olari Elts and the Vanemuine Symphony Orchestra conducted by Risto Joost, both broadcast by the ERR.

A former member of Munich’s Opernstudio, Mirjam has made a tremendous impression in numerous titles including the title-role of Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta conducted by Alevtina Ioffe at the Cuvilliés Theater, soon to be released on DVD. Other highlights have included Freia (Das Rheingold), Nella (Gianni Schicchi) conducted by Daniele Rustioni, and Dew Fairy in Richard Jones’ Hänsel und Gretel under Patrick Lange. Elsewhere Mirjam made a critically acclaimed debut as Norina in Don Pasquale with the Estonian National Opera conducted by Arvo Volmer, a role she reprises with them this season in addition to Iolanta in concert.​

Mirjam Mesak is a graduate of Guildhall School of Music & Drama (First Class Honours) where she studied under the tutelage of Prof. Rudolf Piernay. She has performed as a soloist in several of London’s renowned concert halls such as the Barbican Hall, Milton Court Concert Hall (including as part of the LSO’s ​‘This is Rattle’ festival), and Wigmore Hall. 

In 2019 she was awarded with the Bavarian Art Prize in the section Performing Arts (Bayerische Kunstdörderpreis in Der Sparte Darstellende Kunst).

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