The Georgian National Opera and Ballet Theater of Tbilisi is an opera house situated on Rustaveli Avenue in Tbilisi,Georgia. Founded in 1851, Tbilisi Opera is the main opera house of Georgia and one of the oldest such establishments in eastern Europe.
Recently gone through 6 years long renovation works, Georgian National Opera and Ballet theater has been opened for public on January 30, 2016.
Tbilisi Opera house on Rustaveli avenue
Since 1896, the theater has resided in an exotic neo-Moorish edifice originally constructed by Victor Johann Gottlieb Schröter, a prominent architect of Baltic German origin. Although definitively Oriental in its decorations and style, the building's layout, foyers and the main hall are that of a typical European opera house. Since its foundation, the theater has been damaged by several fires and underwent major rehabilitation works under Soviet and Georgian leadership; the most recent restoration effort concluded in January 2016, having taken six years and costing approximately 40 million U.S. dollars, donated by a Georgian business foundation.
The opera house is one of the centers of cultural life in Tbilisi and was once home to Zacharia Paliashvili, the Georgian national composer whose name the institution has carried since 1937. The Opera and Ballet Theater also houses the State Ballet of Georgia under the leadership of an internationally renown Georgian ballerina Nina Ananiashvili. In recent years it has hosted opera stars such as Montserrat Caballé and José Carreras, while also serving as a traditional venue for national celebrations and presidential inaugurations.
Statue of ballerinas in Opera's park
The foundation of the Tiflis Imperial Opera was closely intertwined with the turbulent political processes in Georgia following the country's annexation by the Russian Empire in 1801. In the first half of the 19th century, Georgia remained a restless and poorly integrated part of the empire. Unhappy with Russian policies, in 1832 Georgian aristocracy hatched a plot against the local Russian authorities, which was discovered and resulted in multiple arrests and repressions in the subsequent years. Anxious to reconcile the Georgian opinion in view of these lingering difficulties, the new Viceroy of the Caucasus, Count Mikhail Vorontsov, implemented a number of cultural initiatives, one of which was the foundation of the opera. The declared purpose of its establishment was to benefit the "public well-being" but it also served an important political goal of fully integrating the local Georgian aristocracy into the Imperial social life, thereby distracting them from any further anti-Russian conspiracies. Read more on Wikipedia.
Visit official website: www.opera.ge (In Georgian)