Renovated 164-Year-Old Opera Reopens


After 43 years, public first saw the reconstructed artsy curtain that had been lost due to fire in theatre.

On January 30 and 31, Tbilisi State Opera finally opened its doors to the public, representing Georgian opera Abesalom And Eteri. First time public saw the grand lustre and reborn legendary curtain together. The lustre, which is covered with Austrian crystal, appeared in 1977, after fire in the theatre burned its interior and the well-known curtain, designed by Sergo Kobuladze. After thetre’s restoration the curtain remained lost. It took 8 months for artists and designers to recreate the curtain from original plans and sketches.

First production featured Tamar Iveri (soprano) as Eter and Lado Ataneli (baritone) as Murman. Iveri, who has already sung on world’s biggest opera stages, had her debut in Georgia. It’s her first Georgian role. As for Ataneli, he sang his part after 23-year-pause. Teimuraz Gugushvili (tenor), who has been singing Abesalom for decades, sang it once again.

The opera Abesalom And Eteri itself was composed by Zakaria Paliashvili and premiered in Tbilisi State Opera on 21 February, 1919. Based on folk poem, libretto tells about the love of Georgian prince Abesalom to a village girl Eter whose passion is jealously encumbered by Murman, Abesalom’s vezier. He makes Abesalom refuse Eter on their wedding and marries her himself. Finally, lovers reunite but both of them die and Murman buries himself between their graves.


Unfortunately, I was not able to attend the first night, so I’ve got the pictures of second performance. Armaz Darashvili – Abesalom, Khatuna Chokhonelidze – Eter and Nikoloz Lagvilava – Murman, Georgian opera chorus and Georgian National Ballet Sukhishvilebi.

Opera House in Tbilisi has a huge cultural value and influence not only on citizens but on whole South Caucasus region. Since its birth, it has hosted numerous international stars, like Schaliapin, Rachmainoff, Arkhipova, Carreras, Furlanetto, Caballe and many others.


Armaz Darashvili as Abesalom


Khatuna Chokhonelidze as Eter



Nikoloz Lagvilava as Murman


Nino Chachua as Princess Marekh


Gocha Datusiani as King Abio


Irina Aleksidze as Queen Natela


Georgian Opera Chorus


Georgian National Ballet Sukhishvilebi

From February 12th ballet returns on stage, representing Gorda, Georgian composition. On this season opera plans to renew with Verdi’s Attila and Leoncavallo’s I Pagliacci.

If you’d like to hear Abesalom And Eteri, here’s a complete performance with a good cast.

About georgianopera

Newest events and important issues about Opera in Georgia.

Posted on February 5, 2016, in Georgian Operas, Georgian Singers, Opera Houses, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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