PromFest, a festival for friends of opera, has been held since 2005.
The festival program concentrates mainly on young opera singers and audience members.
PromFest grew out of Klaudia Taev International Competition for Young Opera Singers, which was created in 1996 and remains one of the main events of the festival. This year marks the tenth time that the competition will be held, bringing to Pärnu, as it always does, numerous young singers from all over the world.
The jury is made up of world-renowned opera experts: singers, teachers, conductors, representatives of opera theatres and agencies. Barbara Hendricks, Edda Moser, Yevgenii Nesterenko, Karan Armstrong-Friedrich, Teresa Zylis-Gara, Ileana Cotrubas, Irina Arkhipova are those well-known singers who have been involved in the festival.
The main attraction of PromFest is the yearly operatic production, in which the leading roles are performed by prizewinners from previous Klaudia Taev Competitions. Productions mounted so far include "Rigoletto" (2003, directed by Linnar Priimägi), "Demon" (2005, Mati Unt), "Carmen" (2007, Marko Matvere), "Thais" (2009, Mai Murdmaa),"Attila" (2011, Üllar Saaremäe) and "The Tsar's Bride" (2013, Teet Kask). The last production, Giuseppe Verdi's "Aida", directed by Madis Nurms, was the co-production with Tartu Vanemuine Theatre in 2015.
The new festival production is "La traviata" by G. Verdi with the last winner of the Klaudia Taev Competition 2015 Alex (Sunghyun) Kim from South Korea as Alfredo. Also other main roles will be performed by prizewinners of the Competition - Russian soprano Anna Denisova (2nd prize 2013) will sing Violetta and bariton from Belarus Ilya Silchukov (3rd prize 2007) as Giorgio Germont. The production will be directed by established Estonian actor and director Anu Lamp. "La traviata" is already the third co-production with the Kaunas State Music Theatre (Lithuania).
In addition to the competition, the opera production and various concerts, PromFest will feature a workshop for singers at the Estonian Academy of Music. Also, video recordings of previous performances will be screened.
PromFest was created in order to broaden the creative opportunities for young opera singers, to bring high-level operatic artists to Estonia, and to help develop the image of Estonia within the world of opera and thereby expand cultural tourism and bring younger generations of Estonians closer to opera.
The festival is organised by NGO PromFest, whose main partner is the Endla Theatre in Pärnu.
The artistic director of PromFest is conductor Erki Pehk.