History



The creative life of the singers and the orchestra of the Georgian State Opera started a few years before the opera house was built in 1851. The first professional symphony orchestra, which consisted of Italian performers, was conducted by an Italian violinist and conductor Barbieri and in the very first season (1851-52) he performed twelve European operas.
From 1860 the theatre orchestra began its independent concert life and held symphony music concerts conducted by Shenning and Catani. Together with the orchestra there were the greatest performers on the stage, among them Teresa Stolz, Feodor Chaliapin, a brilliant pianist Arthur Rubinstein, a Russian composer and a virtuoso pianist Sergei Rachmaninoff and a great Russian composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky, who visited Georgia five times (1886-1890), and who appreciated deeply the orchestra and the theatre company.
 
The orchestra participated in the performances of the theatres on tour: St. Petersburg Ballet Company (1852), Italian operatic companies (1897-1898, 1910), the Vienna Imperial Operetta (1903), Moscow and Petersburg comic operas (1907), St. Petersburg Imperial Ballet (1907, 1908, 1913).
 
In the 20th century the orchestra was conducted by such famous musicians as Evgeni Mikeladze, Ivane and Vakhtang Paliashvilis, Odissei Dimitriadi, Givi Azmaiparashvili and Jansug Kakhidze.
 
In recent years together with the orchestra of the theatre we could listen to the world famous performers, such as Placido Domingo, Ferruccio Furlanetto, José Carreras, Michèle Crider, Dolora Zajick, Montserrat Caballé, Paata Burchuladze, Badri Maisuradze, Lado Ataneli, Iano-Tamar Alibegashvili, Alexandre Korsantia, Lexo Toradze, Eter Anjaparidze. The orchestra was conducted by Arvo Volmer, the artistic director of the Estonian National theatre and the main conductor, Dan Ettinger, Shuya Okatsu, Fakhraddin Kerimov and others.
 
The orchestra had successful tours in Hungary, Germany, France, Israel, Malta, Spain, and Libya. The orchestra, as well as the whole company, had a great success at the prestigious opera music festival of Sweden.
 
Taking into consideration the high creative-professional level of the musicians, a chamber orchestra was established, which regularly gives concerts in Georgia and abroad.
 
Today there are 121 actors in the opera orchestra who often have recitals as independent soloists or ensembles. Besides opera and ballet performances, the orchestra often gives concerts of symphony and vocal music, takes part in governmental and charity events, and collaborates with the famous contemporary conductors and performers.