Meet the Artist: Otar Jorjikia, Tenor


GEORGIA TODAY is beginning a series introducing famous Georgian artists who have already made “professional statements” by performing on various eminent stages around the globe.

Otar Jorjikia is one such sparkling star. The 30-year-old young Georgian tenor studied in Austria at the Performing Arts Studio in Vienna, simultaneously singing at the Vienna Musical Society Chorus and participating in various concerts with famous conductors such as Georges Prêtre, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Michael Boder, Gerd Albrecht and more. He has sung with such singers as Krassimira Stoyanova, Michael Schade, Natalia Stutzmann, and Mariana Lipovsek.

In 2007, he returned to Georgia to study at the V. Sarajishvili Tbilisi State Conservatoire under Prof. Nodar Andguladze. During his student years he participated in different concerts and performances, including in the Conservatoire opera studio where he sang the parts of Tamino (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte), Alfredo (Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata), Nemorino (Gaetano Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore), the Duke of Mantua (Verdi’s Rigoletto), and Lenski (Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin). In 2012, Jorjikia received a Presidential Scholarship and in 2013 the V. Sarajishvili Scholarship. Since then he has won the Lado Ataneli International Vocal Competition, attended master-classes by Prof. Eda Mozer and Renato Bruson (Italy) and sung the roles of Kote and Siko in the successful project Barbale, based on Victor Dolidze’s comic opera Keto and Kote (together with Mariam Nachkebia and Mikheil Kiria) and conducted by Vakhtang Kakhidze, and performed the tenor part in Haydn’s oratorio The Creation of the World with the Georgian National Philharmonic Orchestra, under Davit Kintsurashvili. Since 2013 Otar Jorjikia has been the soloist of the Tbilisi State Opera and Ballet Theater, debuting in 2014 as Don Alvaro in Verdi’s opera La Forza del Destino. In 2014 at the Verdi Voices Competition (Busseto, Italy) Otar, as a finalist, was invited to Verdi’s Festival where he sang Alfredo in Verdi’s La Traviata, a co-production of three leading opera theaters (Parma, Bologna and Busseto), conducted by Stefano Rabaglia and directed by Henning Brockhaus. In 2015, he sang the parts of Malkhaz (Zakaria Paliashvili’s Daisi) and Don Jose (Georges Bizet’s Carmen) in the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theater’s productions. GEORGIA TODAY met the man himself.

You were recognized as a prodigy child. When did you start singing?

As a child, I sang constantly. Even the neighbors asked my mother to let me keep on at it! I began when I was 5 years old and both my mother and father encouraging and supported me in developing my musical gift.

What was it like when you first realized you were a wunderkind?

I never felt that I possessed something special. I’ve always lived in an ordinary way, which has helped me to find new experiences.

Did you go to school every day, and did other boys exclude you at all?

I went to school like others did. However, I changed schools three times. I was quite energetic and was quite good at football. I got on well with people.

You started with Folk Choir, then came meetings with eminent conductors and singers…Was it talent, your faith, determination to succeed or everything together?

This was the road set for me and I’m happy to be on it. Everyone learns and gains experience in their own way.

Which was the happiest day in your career?

I can’t choose just one. There were plenty of beautiful days that stand out. Happy days in one’s life are like family- one can’t say which of them is dearer than another.

Tenors are quite rare. Do you feel special for it?

Above all, a human being deserves respect due to his/her personal traits and his/her behavior in society, notwithstanding how good or bad you might be in your profession. I’m happy to feel so much love from so many people. But, of course, nobody is loved by everyone.

Which are your dream roles?

Probably, Othello in Verdi’s “Othello” and Rodolfo in Puccini’s “La Boheme” and I hope very much that I will sing them both soon. My favorite part is Don Jose in Bizet’s “Carmen” and Gabriele Adorno in Verdi’s “Simon Boccanegra”.

What did you want to be or would you be if you were not a singer?

I very much wanted to be a film actor or a football player.

What is music for you - describe it in three words…

Music is the energy of kindness.

Can an artist with great talent love another and, if so, which will be more precious for him – the art or the loved one?

If everything has its own height like stairs in a human being’s mind, I believe, in this case, the spirituality or the inner kindness that a man should bear, is abolished and lowered to a certain level. Music, as well as the person I love, gives me the will and strength to live. One cannot separate what one loves and is happy to live for. I am as much a part of music as a part of the love that makes me happy. As for your sub-question, yes, I am always romantic. Does it help me? Yes, it does, as every trait helps one, and of it does not, you simply try to get rid of it.

Maka Lomadze

12 January 2017 20:18