Priit Volmer

b. September 6, 1978, Tartu
Member of The Association of Estonian Theatre since 2006

Bass Priit Volmer is first and foremost known on the opera stage. He has achieved recognition for his artistry, stage charisma, voice with a beautiful timbre and comic talent. His repertoire includes a number of roles of the well-known opera and operetta literature. He has also performed as a soloist in vocal-symphonic music.

Volmer graduated from Heino Eller Tartu Music School singing class of Henn Pai in 2000 and from Estonian Academy of Music with Professor Virgilijus Noreika, Professor Matti Pelo and Professor Jaakko Ryhänen. In 2004 Volmer begun his Master’s studies at Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre. He has participated in masterclasses of Maria Acda (2004), Rudolf Piernay (2005, 2006) and David Jones (2009, Kungläv, Sweden). In 2003 he was awarded the I prize for the best performance of songs by Estonian composer Mart Saar at the competition in Estonian Academy of Music.

Volmer has been engaged as an opera chorus artist at the Theatre Vanemuine (1998–2000) and at the Estonian National Opera  (2000–2004). In 2004–2013 he worked as a soloist at the Estonian National Opera and in 2013–2016 at the Theater Bonn in Germany. Since autumn 2016, Volmer returned to the Estonian National Opera. In 2008, he joined the theatre Varius (Estonia), he has also participated in several opera productions at the Theatre Ugala, NPO KaivConsort and project theatre Nargen Opera.

His repertoire consists of numerous opera roles, including Mityukha (Modest Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov), Third Tramp (Carl Orff’s Die Kluge), Vagabond (Der Mond), Priest (René Eespere’s Gourmets), Bob (Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief), Cesare Angelotti, Sciarrone (Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca), Dog (Timo Steiner’s The Wooing), Prince Gremin (Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin), Marchese d’Obigny, Dottore Grenvil (Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata), Monk (Don Carlo), Montano (Othello), Sparafucile, Count Ceprano (Rigoletto), Marcus, Black Bob, Tom (Benjamin Britten’s The Little Sweep), Filiberto (Gioacchino Rossini’s Signor Bruschino), Alidoro (La Cenerentola), Der Sprecher, Sarastro (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte), Leporello (Don Giovanni), Bartholomeos (Eduard Tubin’s Barbara von Tisenhusen), Marshal Ney (Tõnis Kaumann’s I – Napoleon!), Buanafede (Joseph Haydn’s Il mondo della luna), Zuniga (Georges Bizet’s Carmen), Eichmann (Erkki-Sven Tüür’s Wallenberg), don Fernando (Ludwig van Beethoven’s Fidelio), Mark - King of Cornwall (Richard Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde), Fifth Journalist (Mari Vihmand’s The Formula of Love), King (Sergei Prokofiev’s The Love for Three Oranges), don Alfonso (Mozart’s Così van tutte), Colline (Puccini’s La Boheme), Samuel (Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera), Titurel (Wagner’s Parsifal), Geronte de Ravoir (Puccini’s Manon Lescaut), Tolomeo (Georg Friedrich Händel’s Julius Caesar), Méphistophélès (Charles Gounod’s Faust), Biterolf (Wagner’s Tannhäuser), Ferrando (Verdi's Il Trovatore).

At Bonn Theatre Volmer has appeared in such roles as Sacristan (Puccini’s Tosca), King (Verdi’s Aida), Sarastro and Sprecher (Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte), Palémon (Massenet’s Thaïs), Rocco (Beethoven’s Fidelio), Nourabad (Bize’s Les pêcheurs de perles), First Nazarene (Richard Strauss’s Salome), Luther (Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann), Timur (Puccini’s Turnadot), Daland (Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer), Don Alfonso (Mozart’s Così fan tutte).

He has also sung several opera roles in a concert-performance, including Abimélech (Camille Saint-Saëns’s Samson and Delilah), Publio (Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito), Nick (Raimo Kangro/Karl August Hermann’s Uku and Vanemuine), Il pedone (Alfredo Catalani’s La Wally), Uberto (Giovanni Battista Pergolesi’s La serva padrona), Folkvin (Villem Kapp’s Lembitu), Capellio (Vincenzo Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi).

Additionally, Volmer has performed roles in operettas and musicals, such as Ain Vellet (Boriss Kõrver’s Only A Dream), Enrico Piselli (Johann Strauss’s Eine Nacht in Venedig), Maitre de Playsir (Wiener Blut), Bogdanowitch (Franz Lehár’s The Merry Widow), Egon (Eduard Künneke’s Der Vetter aus Dingsda), Vogl (Franz Schubert/Heinrich Berté’s Das Dreimädlerhaus), Colonel Pickering (Carl Loewe’s My Fair Lady), Andres Paas (Ago Endrik Kerge/Tõnu Raadik’s Truth And Justice of Vargamäe). He has played as well as Ivo Schenkenberg in Hardi Volmer’s multimedia performance Tallinn Is Not Far Away and participated in several productions of Varius Theatre (directed by Heidi Sarapuu).

Priit Volmer’s repertoire also consists of solo parts in large-scale vocal works with orchestra: Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s Te Deum, Johann Sebastian Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, Magnificat, St. Matthew and St. John Passions, Schubert’s Mass G-major, Mozart’s Mass C-minor, Beethoven’s Mass C-major, Antonio Salieri’s, Gabriel Fauré’s, Antonín Dvo?ák’s and Verdi’s Requiems, Puccini’s Missa di Gloria. He has performed with Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Vanemuine Theatre Symphony Orchestra, Pärnu City Orchestra, Corelli Baroque Orchestra and collaborated with conductors such as Jüri Alperten, Peter Feranec (Slovenia), Risto Joost, Lilyan Kaiv, Tõnu Kaljuste, Eri Klas, Andres Mustonen, Paul Mägi, Gintaras Rinkevicius (Lithuania), Toomas Siitan, Arvo Volmer and others. As a chamber singer, he has appeared together with ensemble Opera Quartet and pianists Piia Paemurru, Ralf Taal and Martti Raide. Volmer has participated in many festivals, e. g. Kuressaare Opera Days, Haapsalu Early Music Festival, Tallinn Baroque Music Festival, Tallinn Winter Festival, Birgitta Festival, Suure-Jaani Music Festival and performed in Latvia and Finland.

He sings Eichmann on DVD „Wallenberg” (Estonian National Opera & ERP, 2008) and Bartholomeos on DVD „Barbara von Tisenhusen” (Estonian National Opera, 2005). He has also participated as a soloist in film „Lacrimosa” (Finland, 2008).

Priit Volmer was awarded the Harjumaa Theatre Prize for Leporello in Mozart’s Don Giovanni (2005) and the Estonian Theatre annual award for Mefisto in Charles Gounod Faust (2013) and for Don Pasquale in Gaetano Donizetti’s Don Pasquale (2021). He received the Marje and Kuldar Sink Prize for Young Singer (2008), the Colleague Prize of Estonian National Opera (2008, 2017), the Estonian National Opera SEB Audience Award (2013, 2017), and the scholarship of the Estonian Richard Wagner Society (2008).

© EMIC 2008
(updated in June, 2017)

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