The history of the Tbilisi Opera Orchestra, the oldest orchestra of Georgia, began more than 165 years ago. The first, not numerous members of the orchestra were Italian musicians and they accompanied the first opera performances in Georgia.
Soon, with the rise of the popularity of the opera, the number of musicians also increased, the symphonic repertoire was added to the existing opera repertoire and the orchestra started its independent concert life as well. At the turn of the 20th century during the opera performances and concerts the only orchestra of the country accompanied the most famous performers of the period, among them - Feodor Chaliapin, Teresa Stolz, Eugenio Giraldoni, Arthur Rubinstein, Sergei Rachmaninoff; as well as touring companies from St. Petersburg, Vienna, Moscow and Italy. This tradition is maintained even today, the orchestra is the worthy partner and accompanist of the musicians of world fame.
In the 20th century the orchestra was conducted by famous Georgian musicians, including Evgeni Mikeladze, Odyssey Dimitriadi, and Djansug Kakhidze. The orchestra has been conducted by Arvo Volmer, Dan Ettinger, Shuya Okatsu, Fakhraddin Kerimov, Kent Nagano, Dmitri Jurowski, Daniel Oren and others.
The historical importance of the orchestra is emphasized by the fact that the orchestra took part in every most significant opera and ballet premieres, whether they were the first in the history Georgian classical operas or ballets, or the world masterpieces.
The orchestra has had successful tours in Hungary, Germany, France, Israel, Malta, Spain, Estonia, the USA, Italy, Sweden - only mentioning a few from the long list.
Today there are 125 musicians in the Opera Orchestra. Their professionalism is emphasized by the fact that they often have recitals as independent soloists or ensemblists both in Georgia and abroad.
Besides the current opera and ballet repertoire, the orchestra often performs diverse symphonic and vocal-symphonic repertoire, takes part in the most significant governmental and charity events of international level, inaugurations and festivals.