Prima Ballerina Discusses Resurrection of Theatre Curtain in Opera House

After 42 years of absence, the Zakaria Paliashvili Opera and Ballet Theatre has got its unique and symbolic Sergo Kobuladze curtain back. A copy of the curtain was made in Germany, by the Gerietse Company on the initiative of the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia. Georgian specialists worked on Kobuladze famous curtain sketch and, by using modern digital technologies on the 11 meters long and 17 meters wide piece, created the final version. The curtain became a symbol in 1960 but was completely destroyed in 1973 as a result of a mysterious fire also ruined the interior of the theatre. Georgia Today met up with Georgian Ballet company head and Prima Ballerina, Nino Ananiashvili, to talk about the new curtain and its place in the Opera.

Nino, how important is the curtain to Georgian society?

The curtain was and is very important to the Georgian Opera and to Georgians as well. The burning of this unique curtain and its subsequent disappearance from the Georgian Opera and theater scene was regrettable for everyone because it was the face of our opera theatre. I was a child when it burned so I don’t remember it vividly but I would constantly hear people talking about it and expressing grief over its absence. Later, together with my friend Levan Bakradze, I started looking into the possibility of getting the curtain remade. In Moscow, along with my colleague Tanya Rastargueva, we performed to raise money for this cause but various circumstances meant we were unable to finish our task. But we never lost that need for our curtain. When we started reconstruction works on the Opera House, we again returned to the issue and, fortunately for everyone, on the initiative of Minister of Culture Mikheil Giorgadze, a high-quality print of the curtain was created with the involvement of Academy of Art professor Nana Iashvili and her students. Giorgi Kalandia, Director of the Art Palace (Georgian State Museum of Theatre, Music, Cinema and Choreography) also participated in the initiative. The print was made in Germany at Gerietse Company, which makes stage curtains for most world famous operas.

When will the public get to see it?

Everyone will get to see it at the opening of the renovated theater. We will stage Vakhtang Chabukiani’s ballet Gorda and the Opera will be opened by a theatre performance of Abesalom and Eteri. Then we will have the premiere of Swan Lake. We also plan to stage old performances which the audience has not seen for six years. The entire season we will be a very interesting and eventful. The season is set to open at the end of January and close in June. We were planning to open it in October but it had to be postponed.

Sergo Kobuladze was a Georgian illustrator and painter. His illustration style was unique and many artists were inspired by it. He graduated from Tbilisi State Academy of Arts and later during 19521959 served as its principal. He interest toward Italian Renaissance and ancient Georgian art was conveyed in his works. He illustrated Shakespeare Tragedies and Rustaveli’s ‘Knight in the Panther’s Skin.’ Additionally, he did illustrations for the epic poem ‘The Tale of Igor’s Campaign’ (The Author is unknown), and Ilia Chavchavadze’s ‘Is That a Human Being?’

Meri Taliashvili

17 December 2015 21:05