When I came to Tbilisi to study music theory and composition, I was very saddened to see the Tbilisi’s opera house closed. In my hometown in Iran, for religious reasons, government doesn’t allow or fund the opera and ballet performances, and since my childhood it had been one of my dreams to go to a real opera house and watch a live performance of an opera.
Tbilisi’s Opera and Ballet Theatre dates to 1851, with a fascinating neo-Moorish style, it was built by Victor Johann Gottlieb Schröter. Even though the outside façade of the theatre seems very different from other opera houses in Europe, the building’s layout is very much the same. The opera theatre underwent many shutdowns due to fire or civil war. After the civil war in the 1990s, the opera house was opened again, but due to the low income of the people, the tickets had to be priced very low so that the people could afford coming to the theater, and because of this, there wasn’t enough money to pay the staff or to even keep the theatre warm during performances.
Tbilisi’s Zacharia Paliashvili opera and ballet theatre, has once again become a prominent cultural spot in the city, as it was opened again in 2016. With a 3.5-tonne chandelier hanging above the main hall, the opera theatre never ceases to amaze me.