Zakaria Paliashvili


Opera in three acts

Libretto by Valerian Gunia


Premiere: Tbilisi Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre on December 19th, 1923


Music director of the production Revaz Takidze

Director Gocha Kapanadze

Set, Costume and Lighting Designer Georgi Aleksi-Meskhishvili

Choreographer Iliko Sukhishvili

Video Projection David Machavariani


Artistic Director

Badri Maisuradze

 *The late-comers will not be allowed in until the first intermission.




Sunset in the picturesque village of Georgia.  Maro, a 19-year-old village girl, is grieving for her beloved Malkhaz: it's been a long time since he left and she knows nothing about him. In the meantime, Maro has been betrothed to Commander Kiazo against her will. Nano, her best friend, tries to cheer her up, but neither her attempts nor the approaching feast of Khatoba are able to make her any happier.

All of a sudden, they hear the voice of Malkhaz - he has returned.  When he meets Maro, he learns of her betrothal. The people begin to gather for the feast, and Nano advises the couple to keep their feelings a secret from everyone.

The nightly feast begins. Nano and Tito compete by improvising funny and witty verses, as do Tito and Tsangala later. Tito wins the competition, which makes Tsangala angry and they start a fight. Tito is backed by the people and has just joined Malkhaz. In an attempt to defuse the tension, Nano initiates a round dance. Angry, Tsangala suspects Nano's intention: she organised the dance to bring Maro and Malkhaz closer together. Tsangala vows vengeance.

The people are on the way to the church. A distraught Malkhaz decides that he will not give up his love and will fight for it if necessary.



The feast continues. Tsangala makes good on his threat, quietly assuring Kiazo that his fiancée Maro is still in love with Malkhaz.

Kiazo is distraught. He sings a table song to hide his rage from everyone.

Unaware, Maro dreams of Malkhaz; at the same time, he senses that something terrible is approaching. Malkhaz appears and speaks to her again of his love, but Maro is sure that their happiness is impossible. Nano interrupts, warning of Kiazo's arrival. The girls plead Malkhaz to go.

In the crowd Kiazo seeks his rival, who is also ready to fight. Suddenly, news arrives that the enemy has invaded the country.

Kiazo calls for the protection of the homeland.



Kiazo finds a frightened Maro standing on the church wall and accuses her of betraying him. Maro confesses that she was never in love with him and throws her wedding ring back at him. Malkhaz tries to remind Kiazo of his duties. But the desire for revenge is stronger than patriotism. Kiazo fatally stabs Malkhaz. People rush in from all sides.

Kiazo has a sense of guilt about his crime, especially when the homeland is in the throes of disaster. It promises to pay for the sin with its own blood. Malkhas dies. Maro mourns him. The people share her grief.

The feast is over. The warriors leave to protect the country. The sun rises.