Vikerlased was created by LGBT+ people for the queer community and their supporters in 2017. More than hundred singers have been part of the choir through the years. Our repertoire includes pop songs and classical choral songs from Estonia and elsewhere. We mostly sing in Estonian and English, but have sung also in other languages. What does Vikerlased mean? The word “vikerkaar” means rainbow in Estonian. Vikerlased means Estonian vikings and is also the title of the first opera of Estonia. Vikerlased turned five this season! During this time, what started as a passing thought to create a choir that unites LGBT+ people, has blossomed into a vivacious and active community choir.

One of the most important moments for Vikerlased was taking part of the Estonian Song Festival in 2019. Singing is an activity that relates to Estonia’s yearning for independence as a nation, so song festivals are very much tied to traditions in Estonia. This is why it was such a big deal to be taking part of it as a first LGBT+ choir in 2019. The experience was a very positive one for us and when we marched in the traditional song festival procession, there were supporters with rainbow flags marching besides us. It is a memory we will always remember and cherish.

Apart from the Estonian Song Festival, we have performed at prides in Latvia, Lithuania, Finland and collaborated with choirs from Finland (Out ‘n loud, Helsingin queer-feministinen kuoro – HQFK, The Friends of Dorothy and Kaupungin naiset), Poland (Krakofonia) and the UK (Barberfellas). So far we have annually performed at LGBT+ film festival Festheart in Rakvere (Estonia) and at Gay Christians’ Christmas services in Tallinn. 2023 is the first year we will perform at a pride event in Tallinn, since the last one was canceled due to the pandemic.

Vikerlased is based in Tallinn, Estonia and has members from Estonia, Finland, Netherlands, UK, Belgium, China and Cyprus. We mostly sing in Estonian and English, but have sung also in Lithuanian, Finnish, Ukrainian and Polish. The current conductor of Vikerlased is Keio Soomelt.

This will be the first time for Vikerlased to sing at the Various Voices festival. Taking part of Various Voices means to us belonging to and celebrating a wider family of LGBT+ singers. In Bologna, we would like to meet all the wonderful singers from Italy, the rest of Europe and elsewhere, meet old friends, make new friends and find potential cooperation partners for the future. We are very much looking forward to singing for the festival audience and exploring the beautiful and historical town of Bologna.