A Message of Universal Love & Peace: Puccini’s Messa di Gloria Premieres in Georgia

On April 8, a solidarity concert to commemorate the victims of the recent terror attacks on France, Turkey and Belgium took place at Rustaveli State Drama Theater. Symbolically enough, the honorary foreign guests – the band ‘Sammartini’- were from Belgium, here on a visit that had been planned much earlier. Together with the Georgian Philharmonic Orchestra and Abkhazian State Chamber Choir, Puccini’s Messa di Gloria was performed for the first time in Georgia.

The evening was presented by the Yevgeny Mikeladze Georgian National Music Center, Georgian Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection and artists’ union ‘Csoncertart’ and supported by the Paata Burchuladze Georgian Development Fund.

Paata Burchuladze, world famous opera bass singer and Head of the Georgian Development Fund, opened the soiree. “The whole world is concerned about the future of Mankind following the series of terror attacks that took place in France, Turkey and Belgium. Today’s concert is an event of solidarity, as each of us is obliged to fight against terrorism. We give our condolences to the families of the victims. We must unite to defeat this wickedness, and more importantly, this maliciousness should be beaten by kindness. It is very symbolic that today we are hosting a band from Belgium, which, in spite of the obstacles they had in getting here, still came to Georgia to participate in this solidarity event.”

The concert was opened by the intermezzo from Mascagni’s ‘Village Honesty’ followed by Mozart’s Concerto No. 23. The main event – Puccini’s Messa di Gloria – was chosen as the culmination of the concert.

Among the guests were representatives of the Diplomatic Corps. H.E. Mr Ian Kelly, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the USA, told GEORGIA TODAY, “It is a great honor for me to be here. I believe this is the kind of event that can help us all to come together after terrible incidents. Music brings hearts and souls together.”

Deputy Italian Ambassador, Stefano Crescenzi, also made a public speech: “It is always a very important occasion when a piece of Italian music is played for the first time in another country. And I’m particularly proud because this time it comes from a prominent Italian musician like Puccini, someone who contributed to spreading throughout the world not only Italian music, Italian language and Italian opera, but was also someone who contributed to spreading universal values and to bringing inside of his works various cultures, from east to west, and to promoting universal values like love, fraternity and peace; universal values that must be pursued, overcoming any difficulties or obstacles.” He went on to highlight that in the composing of his music, Puccini was thinking about the obstacles of his own time, but that in fact his work can be translated into present reality just as easily: a reality in which we face terrorism, “A threat that cannot be addressed by each of us alone, but that we can overcome together. To do that we must be united and share the same universal values that Puccini himself put at the center of his works. And to come together, music is a perfect tool for mutual understanding that unites people, cultures and gives us more strength. Honoring the victims of all terroristic acts throughout the world tonight, I hope that Puccini’s music will continue to inspire us to pursue the universal values that make the world a better place.”

Maka Lomadze

14 April 2016 20:07