Immediately before the arrival of the UFO the spectators saw a video clip in which the giants of European culture – the Coliseum of Rome, Eiffel Tower of Paris and Brandenburg Gates from Berlin – landed in the new European Capital of Culture. The clip was produced by creative director Andrus Kõresaar and Produktsioonigrupp OÜ.
„Every capital of culture throughout the 25 years has attempted to amaze with something unprecedented during the opening ceremony. But considering the different budgets, we are not so wealthy as to import big international names. So we decided to take a more creative path,“ commented the creative director of the opening ceremony, Foundation Tallinn 2011 programme director Jaanus Rohumaa. „Half-jokingly we could say, we sent invitations to very far away and received a reply – our invitation reached the universe,“ added Rohumaa.
Together with the team of three the UFO weighed almost 1000 kg. In addition to Andres Mirme, who came out of the machine dressed as an alien to wave to people, the flying saucer also housed two helpers, Oliver Kulpsoo and Priit Kukk, who took care of the lights and laser rays of the UFO. The UFO was designed by Enar Tarmo, the technical director of Von Krahl theatre and Stunts OÜ, it was built by Management OÜ.
The opening ceremony of European Capital of Culture Tallinn 2011 was produced by Tallinn 2011 Foundation, National Opera Estonia and Estonian Public Broadcasting. The main director was Jaanus Rohumaa, producer Eva Saar, designer Katrin Sipelgas. Technical support by Royal Service, Eventech and Meeskond.
European Capital of Culture Tallinn 2011 programme started on 1 January with the series of alternative and club music events in Metro Plaza „Club 2011“.
On 2 January the best of Ljubljana Biennale exhibition was opened in Kumu as well as Urmas Viik’s installation „Mr Luik’s Hummer“ at Tallinn airport, both of which are introductions to XV Tallinn Print Triennial opening on 20 January.
Also on 2 January the first part of a TV series by Jaan Tootsen telling the stories of Tallinn’s people „One Story“ was aired on Estonian TV.
From 1 January European Capital of Culture Tallinn 2011 has a new website that gives first-hand information about events in nearest future as well as works as a search platform for the whole year.