Georgia to become first country outside Italy to host Festival Verdi opera celebration

  • The Georgian edition of the Verdi festival will open with a Teatro Regio di Parma production of ‘Un ballo in maschera’. Photo: Teatro Regio di Parma., 5 Jul 2019 - 16:57, Tbilisi,Georgia

Two Georgian theatre venues will be the destination for the first-ever shows of Italy’s famed Festival Verdi outside the country, as international and local opera stars gear up to shine in the maiden Georgian edition of the annual event in August.


Announced a year ago, the deal between the major festival — hosting tens of thousands of visitors daily in its editions in Parma and Busseto — and the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet State Theatre will see the celebration of the legendary composer exported from Italy.


In three shows, the occasion will see Georgia become the first non-Italian host of the festival originally founded by the estate of Giuseppe Verdi as part of the exclusive agreement.


A Teatro Regio di Parma production of Un ballo in maschera will open the event at the Tbilisi theatre on August 16, with the Georgian artists of the venue featuring in the roster.

Two Italian towns host the annual Festival Verdi for tens of thousands of daily visitors, making the event a major celebration of the famed composer:

The show will see a new high in series of opera exchanges between Georgia and Italy, held over the recent years with the initiative of the Opera and Ballet Theatre artistic director Badri Maisuradze and his staff.


Involving joint productions and guest performers, the multi-year project has seen a revitalisation of the Tbilisi venue’s opera activities, with a record number of premieres held at the theatre over the last few seasons.


Moving away from the capital, the second festival show will see the first-ever opera performance held at the new Black Sea Arena on Georgia’s seaside on August 23.


A foreign staging team will bring a staging of Aida by the Arena di Verona amphitheatre in Italy to the stage of the modern performance location that has been hosting pop stars since its launch in 2016.


The date will also mean the maiden staging of the version of the Verdi classic, seen by the Georgian hosts of the festival as the largest opera production yet attempted in the country.


The Aida show will also be covered by visiting Italian media for a documentary project, to be broadcast later in 15 European countries.


The third and final date of the festival will see a selection of Georgian and foreign stars take to the same venue for a gala featuring fragments from Verdi works on the Black Sea shoreline.


The Festival Verdi was founded in Italy in the 1980s and is held in October each year since 2007 to celebrate the major legacy of the famed composer. Marking Verdi’s birthday, his two hometowns of Parma and Busseto invite music enthusiasts to attend shows of the event.