Georgia has given the world a large number of skilled opera singers. The success of Georgian opera as an art form is largely due to the country’s robust singing traditions and history. In the 19th century, Georgia experienced an Opera boom beginning opening of the Tbilisi Opera Theatre in 1851. 5he composition of the first Georgian opera, Darejan the Wili, by M. Balanchivadze (1897) and the legendary “Georgian Nightingale” Vano Sarajishvili introduced a golden era of Georgian operatic theater. Vano was popular for his strong, beautiful, charming voice; acting talent; and vivid scenic artistry. Sarajishvili’s performances combined traditions of the Russian vocal school, Italian Bel Canto, and native Georgian techniques. Starting in the pre-republican era, and throughout the twentieth century, georgian opera produced a large number of outstanding opera singers such as: I. Sarajishvili, A. Inashvili, Z. Anjaparidze, D. Andghuladze, D. Badridze, Gamrekeli D., P. Amiranashvili, N. Tsomaya, B. Kraveishvili, Z. Sotkilava, and M. Kasrashvili.
Georgia’s modern opera singers work to maintain this tradition and continue represent their country among the best performers on the world’s leading stages.
Photo Source: gbopera.it
Anita Rachvelishvili made her debut in the Tbilisi Opera when she was still a student. In 2007, she entered the Academy of La Scala, in Milan, where she was discovered by Daniel Barenboim and cast her in the title role of Carmen to open the 2009-2010 season alongside Jonas Kaufmann. Anita Rachvelishvili’s collaboration with the well known Georgian pianist David Aladashvili has been remarkable and very interesting. They have toured together several times and, on May 3rd, performed a free COC-sponsored concert in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre (Toronto) singing Rachmaninov, De Falla, Ravel, Fauré and the Georgian composer Otar Taktakishvili.
Mrs. Rachvelishvili also has a vibrant passion for jazz it was her first love before moving into opera. She headlines a seven-piece jazz band, made up of Georgian musicians, which travels throughout Europe and recently played at (Le) Poisson Rouge in New York. Anita Rachvelishvili is still an outstanding Carmen! This role has a big impact on her: “I love this role. She has made a difference in my life…” says the singer.