Tbilisi’s principal opera venue will premiere a brand-new staging of Giuseppe Verdi’s Don Carlo, marking the show’s return to Georgian audiences for the first time in 15 years this month.
At the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet State Theatre, the grand opera classic based on Friedrich Schiller’s play will have a five-show bill.
The opera will be presented in Tbilisi in a brand-new staging of the Teatro Regio in Parma, Italy, praised as “a fully successful project” by Giorgio De Martino in a 2017 review for the Sipario magazine.
Directed by Cesare Lievi, the premiere project has involved Georgian theatre’s Zaza Azmaiparashvili as staging conductor. Maurizio Balò worked on costume and set design for the classic.
A release by the Opera and Ballet State Theatre said a roster of performers from both the venue and guest singers and conductors would be involved in the upcoming bill.
Don Carlo is centred around the Asturian prince Carlos, whose royal spouse Elisabeth of Valois is required by the 1559 peace treaty between the Habsburg and Valois houses to marry Carlos’ father, King Philip II of Spain.
Premiered in Georgia in 1869 — two years after its international debut at Salle Le Peletier in Paris — the opera was introduced to theatre-goers at the Karvasla Theatre, the first major stage art venue in Tbilisi launched in 1851.
The Teatro Regio staging has a runtime of three-and-a-half hours with four acts. Photo: Teatro Regio di Parma.
The opera was part of the local scene until 2004, when the Guram Meliva-staged redaction went on stage at the Opera and Ballet State Theatre in the capital before the following 15-year break.
The theatre has recently seen a slew of premieres of opera classics — from the staging of Werther for the first time in 75 years in December, to the Georgian premiere of Simon Boccanegra earlier last year.
The new wave of premiere shows has been a result of collaboration of the theatre with counterparts in Italy, as directors and designers from the two countries have worked together to bring classics to Tbilisi opera audiences.
In a separate project between the Tbilisi opera and Parma’s Teatro Regio, opera professionals are working to host Italy’s celebrated Festival Verdi in Georgian cities including Tbilisi.
The Don Carlo bill will host shows between 15-24 February.