Opera stars up in arms in Tbilisi

Opera stars up in arms in Tbilisi
A recent performance at the Tbilisi Opera (Image: Tea Gvinjilia / Tbilisi State Opera / Facebook)

18 July 2016

Singers at the Tbilisi Opera Theatre in the Georgian capital are furious about recent goings on at the theatre, accusing the management of corruption and nepotism.

Internationally famous Georgian opera singers such as Mzia Nioradze, Tamar Iveri, Nana Kavtarashvili, Anita Rachvelishvili, and Lado Ataneli have dubbed their artistic director Davit Kintsurashvili “unprofessional”, namely for having staged just three operas since taking on the role two years ago.

Such an absence of performances is of great worry to the singers and could cause problems in their future career.

“Now, the soloists are stuck without a repertoire. If a singer does not sing on stage for a year or two, it can be the end of their career!” stated mezzo-soprano Mzia Nioradze, currently at New York’s Metropolitan Opera.

The singers also accuse the director of redistributing 335,000 GEL ($143,000) among the management since January, while no performers took home a bonus.

“Even though the majority are united, Kintsurashvili says that this [protest] is merely a well-organised conspiracy against him. [...] There is a police regime inside the theatre. Kintsurashvili strictly controls all the comments on social media and then reprimands authors of anything negative and threatens to sack them,” said singer Tamar Iveri, who is also familiar with negative limelight after allegations regarding homophobic comments made by the singer surfaced in 2013.

Kakhaber Tetvadze, Chairman of the Trade Union of Opera and Ballet Theater, however believes that blame lies within both the current and former Opera administration and with the Ministry of Culture, which has handled the complaints inadequately.

Source: Georgia Today