Photo by Mai Buchert
Rahvapidu was an event where performers came together to celebrate their love of Estonian music, song and dance. The lead-up to Rahvapidu, including the final rehearsal day, was planned and managed by the Eesti Päevad committee to make it the success that it was and thanks go to all of those involved.
During the lead-up to the grand performance, dance groups, choirs and the band from New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory rehearsed and practiced their dances, songs or music routines for many months to perfect their routines. There were many new dances never before performed in Sydney, such as Luuavarre hüppe, danced by the children's group Rebased and Holsta Valss, performed by the newest ladies' dance group Rukkililled, accompanied with live music by Salmiakki Pelimannit. Sydney's Virmalised, Melbourne's Eiderattad and Vikerkaar from Adelaide looked spectacular as they danced their way to the hearts of the audience.
The singing program began with the EP2018 Ühendkoor performing Koit, conducted by Karin Adamson, followed by three songs, written by Paul Kadak and performed by Lõke, the last of which "Lõngad, mis meid seovad" was chosen as the theme for the festival art and craft exhibition. Highlights of the day were the performance by our smallest children's choir welcoming everyone with "Tere hommikust", a song celebrating summer by the Sõrve junior choir and the Kadri Hunt song "Üksteist peab hoidma" performed by the Sõrve combined choir, all conducted by Sirje Perendi. Lõke then returned to sing some well know folk songs and finished with their first collaboration with the band Salmiakki Pelimannit, in performing the "Naisid Köögis" song "Eestile sünnipäevalaul". Further highlights included a preview performance by the choir Kooskõlas of songs to be performed as part of the segakoor and ühendkoor at the 2019 Laulupidu song celebration in Tallinn, conducted by Dr Naomi Cooper. The singing program was capped off with a performance by the EP2018 Ühendkoor singing the cherished songs, notably, "Ta lendab mesipuu poole" and "Lahkumise laul" conducted by Eili Annuk, "Tuljak", conducted the eminent visiting Estonian conductor Siim Selis, "Tombi Toomas", conducted by Naomi Cooper and a rousing rendition of "Kungla rahvas" performed with the help of the audience under the skilled conducting of Siim Selis once again and accompanied on piano by Russell Littlefair.
The audience enjoyed the colourful and beautiful costumes worn by the performers and were pleased to see and hear the many new routines never before performed in Sydney. One person was heard to say, "this year we were pleasantly surprised to have a visiting chef from Estonia provide food at Rahvapidu". Another member of the audience pointed out that the performance was to schedule and the stage crew worked well with the sound man and the wonderful M.C.
Until next time ...