Special events celebrate reopening of Tbilisi State Opera (VIDEO)

28 Jan 2016 - 16:49

  • The renovated Opera and Ballet State Theatre will open on January 30. Photo by N. Alavidze/Agenda.ge.
Agenda.ge, 28 Jan 2016 - 16:49, Tbilisi,Georgia

A week-long program of presentations, exhibitions and film screenings is celebrating the long-awaited reopening of Tbilisi's iconic Opera and Ballet State Theatre after a six-year renovation break.

An exhibition of photographs showing the venue before and after the renovations will be held today at the Tbilisi Music Centre.

Among the selected shots on display are the best images by Agenda.ge's Nino Alavidze, included in our gallery Splendour of the renovated Tbilisi Opera House.

The exhibition was part of a series of special events to mark the January 30 reopening of the 165-year-old theatre.

View the promotional video celebrating the reopening of the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet State Theatre below:

About 100 million GEL ($40 million USD) was spent on the theatre’s six-year renovation.

The rich and extraordinary history of the Tbilisi State Opera and Ballet Theatre was also the focus of a new documentary film screened at the Georgian National Museum on Wednesday.

Titled Rebirth of a Masterpiece, the film told the story of the iconic stage curtain by late Georgian painter Sergo Kobuladze that became a trademark of the theatre before a fire in 1973 destroyed much of the building's interior including the curtain.

Produced by Art Palace museum director Giorgi Kalandia and ArtArea multimedia project, the film also followed the process of restoring Kobuladze's unique work that was rehung at the theatre in December 2015.

Art-lovers enjoyed an exhibition on Tuesday of historic musical scores of all popular Georgian operas and theatre costumes on Tuesday.

The exhibition of ballet costumes was part of the theatre reopening week. Photo by the Art Palace.

A historic opera score dating back to 1897 by Meliton Balanchivadze (1862–1937), one of the founders of Georgian opera and the father of world-famous choreographer George Balanchine, was displayed for the first time.

Another highlight was an exhibition of opera and ballet costumes created anywhere between the early 19th Century to more recent times.

The creative expo saw costumes displayed on mannequins throughout the renovated venue. The aim of the display was to tell the venue’s rich history via its artistic creations.

The week-long program to mark the theatre's reopening began on Monday with a presentation of a new book.

The book 100 Years of the Opera Theatre by culture historian Shalva Kashmadze was first published in 1952 and was considered a unique source of the venue's history over its first 100 years, since 1851.

Kashmadze’s work became especially important after the 1973 fire at the Opera and Ballet Theatre, which almost entirely destroyed the rich archives detailing the venue’s history.

The theatre's opera and ballet troupes were also busy preparing for performances to mark the long-awaited reopening.

A new version of the Georgian opera Abesalom and Eteri,a customary production that opened annual seasons at the theatre, will be performed on January 30.

Dancers of the theatre's ballet company rehearsed in their renovated studios for the premiere of the ballet Gorda. Photo by N. Alavidze/Agenda.ge.

Globally recognised Georgian opera stars Tamar Iveri and Lado Ataneli have been cast in the celebratory performance, directed by Gizo Zhordania. The sets were designed by local designer Gogi Aleksi-Meskhishvili.

The ballet company of the Tbilisi theatre will join the celebrations on February 12 with a premiere of the ballet Gorda. The performance takes a new look at the legendary late dancer and choreographer Vakhtang Chabukiani's 1949 classic.

First restored in 1996 by ballet master and choreographer Zurab Kikaleishvili,the new Gorda production featured sets by David Monavardisashvili and costumes designed by Ana Kalatozishvili.

The week-long celebrations will end with the official reopening of the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet State Theatre on January 30.