Vello Pähn


Vello Pähn


  • Guesting 25 years with ballet and opera at the Paris Opera
  • Faust and Flying Dutchman at the Savonlinna Opera Festival
  • Elisir d'Amore at Berlin State Opera
  • Madame Butterfly at Paris National Opera
  • Regular guest at the opera houses in Berlin, Vienna State, Hamburg, Milan etc.
  • Artistic Director at the Estonian National Opera (from 2012)


The Estonian conductor Vello Pähn is since 2012 the the Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Estonian National Opera in Tallinn, where his first engagement was Faust by Charles Gounod followed by Wagner's Tannhäuser. In autumn 2013, he conducted the world premiere of Butterfly by the Estonian composer Tönu Körvits, in Tallinn. His recent work in Tallinn include Gounod's Romeo et Juliette, Cardillac by Paul Hindemith and Mozart's The Magic Flute and in last season he conducted in Tallinn Arabella and Aida

The Estonian-born conductor studied at the Tallinn Conservatory in St. Petersburg. During that time he was also engaged at the Estonian State Theatre where he conducted a broad range of operatic repertoire including Carmen, Madame Butterfly, La Traviata, Hovanštšina, L'Elisir d'amore, Duenja, Eugene Onegin and Le Nozze di Figaro, before launching an international career.

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Vello Pähn’s collaboration with the legendary dancer Rudolf Nureyev and the choreographer John Neumeier led to invitations from the world's leading theatres and ballet companies. His command of the standard ballet repertoire, Cinderella, Le sacre du printemps, Otello, Swan Lake, Nutcracker, Onegin, and so on, made him a house favourite at the Paris National Opera and Hamburg Ballet for over two decades. 

Equally in demand as an opera conductor, Mr. Pähn made his debut at the Savonlinna Opera Festival in Finland with Flying Dutchman and went on tour with this production in Spain. Later Vello Pähn returned to Savonlinna to conduct Gounod's opera Faust. In Copenhagen Royal Danish Opera he first conducted Swan Lake and returned soon with the opera Carmen. He has recently worked at the Berlin State Opera with Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly, Donizetti’s Elisir d’Amore and in Yekaterinburg with a rare Rimsky-Korsakov opera Snow Maiden

In addition to France and Scandinavia, Maestro Pähn has been frequently invited to many major German opera houses, including the Dresden Semperoper, Berlin State Opera, Stuttgart and Leipzig opera houses and of course not excluding elsewhere in Europe - the Vienna State Opera and La Scala in Milan. His engagements included performances in St. Petersburg with the Hamburg Ballet as well as a production based on Sergei Prokofiev's Ivan le Terrible in Paris. 

Last season Maestro Pähn conducted in Paris the ballett productions La nuit transfigurée and Le Sacre du printempts. His work as a ballet conductor at the Paris opera house will continue over the upcoming years. In season 2016-17 Pähn will conduct The Flying Dutchman and Anna Bolena in Tallinn and Puccini’s La Boheme at the Royal Danish Opera in Copenhagen.

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