Legendary Conductor Daniel Oren to Lead 2 Productions at Tbilisi Opera & Ballet Theater

On November 10 and 14, the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet State Theater is set to present two concerts, conducted and led by great Maestro Daniel Oren, currently the Musical Director of the Tbilisi Opera.

"Ready for a week of great music and of great emotions with such a wonderful public in Georgia!" the conductor tweeted of his upcoming performances in Tbilisi.

On November 10, the Tbilisi Opera will present Requiem by Giuseppe Verdi, a concert to feature distinguished Georgian artists and bright stars like Iano Alibegashvili, Nino Surguladze, Otar JorJikia and George Andguladze.

Verdi's Requiem offers a drama of opera and the thrill of wonderful symphonic writing combined with stellar, virtuosic solo moments. Requiem was composed in memory of Alessandro Manzoni, an Italian poet and novelist whom Verdi admired. The first performance, at the San Marco church in Milan on 22 May 1874 marked the first anniversary of Manzoni's death. Since then, the mesmerizing piece has been performed in the world’s top operas and theaters. It is known as probably the most frequently performed major choral work composed since the compilation of Mozart's Requiem.

Verdi’s well-known production is to be followed by yet another eternal classic in Tbilisi: Symphony No. 9 by Ludwig van Beethoven will come to life on the stage of the Tbilisi Opera on November 14. The cast includes Iano Alibegashvili, Nino Surguladze, George Andguladze and Armaz Darashvili as well as the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet State Theater choir and orchestra as key elements in the concert.

Ludwig van Beethoven’s work, remarkable not only for its grandness of scale but especially for its final movement, which includes a full chorus and vocal soloists who sing a setting of Friedrich Schiller’s poem “An die Freude” (“Ode to Joy”), premiered on May 7, 1824, in Vienna. Symphony No. 9 has withstood the test of time and, indeed, has made its mark and now the well-known piece will be voiced in Tbilisi Opera by world-famous Georgian artists. In 1972, the prelude to "Ode to Joy", the 4th movement of Ludwig van Beethoven's 9th Symphony, was adopted as the Anthem of Europe by the Council of Europe and subsequently by the European Union in 1985. Now the anthem serves as a symbol for the whole of Europe.

“I have been collaborating with Daniel Oren since 2003. He was one of my first maestros,” Nino Surguladze, world-famous Mezzo Soprano told GEORGIA TODAY. “We have recorded three DVDs of Nabucco by Verdi together. One of them was recorded in Piacenza, where I used to perform with Paata Burchuladze and the others at the Arena di Verona. The latter at Arena di Verona was made together with George Gagnidze, a Georgian baritone. Daniel has had close ties and friendly relations with Georgian artists that possibly also fostered him becoming Musical Director of the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet State Theater. I’m extremely happy to perform together with my friends and Maestro Oren on my beloved Opera Theater stage,” Surguladze noted.

“I performed together with the Maestro for the first time in 2011. Since then, I was fortunate enough to work with him and sing on a number of stages worldwide. We have very close ties and friendly relations. He has an amazing talent for transforming the same piece and interpreting it for each concert. I think he has greatest musical instinct among the world’s leading conductors,” said world-famous Georgian bass George Andguladze.

As a 20-year-old student of conducting in Germany, Oren claimed first prize at the Berlin-based Herbert von Karajan International Conducting Competition in 1975. In 1978, he began conducting in the US and also established his career in Italy. Oren served as a conductor at such prestigious theaters as Trieste, Teatro di San Carlo in Naples and the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa. He was appointed Artist Director at the Verdi Opera House in Salerno in 2007. In 2018, he took on the role of Musical Director of the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet State Theater. The famed artist had his debut as Musical Director on January 16 and 18 when he conducted Opera Fantasy, a program involving overtures and pieces from opera classics.

“It is a great honor and responsibility to work with such an eminent maestro as Daniel Oren,” said Otar Jorjikia, Georgian tenor. “Through working with him, you learn many things and grow professionally. I’m excited, since I’ll be performing an amazing piece by Verdi for the first time in Georgia together with my colleagues. I wish all the participants good luck with this amazing performance at the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet State Theater,” he added.

Daniel Oren has been actively performing as a guest-conductor at the Metropolitan Opera House (New York), Covent Garden, the Vienna State Opera, and the major opera houses of San Francisco, Houston, Buenos Aires, Paris, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, and Moscow. He has also conducted worldwide acclaimed ensembles, including the Berlin Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, and the Munich Radio Philharmonic. Oren is best known for his interpretations of the works of Verdi and Puccini. He has worked with some of the most famous singers in opera, including Alfredo Kraus, Josè Carreras, Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Raina Kabaivanska, Ghena Dimitrova, Fiorenza Cedolins, Marcelo Álvarez, Ruggero Raimondi, Leo Nucci, and countless others. He has recorded for RCA, Decca, Arthaus Musik, TDK, and other major labels.

“I feel so honored to be part of this concert and I’m happy to perform in company with one of the world’s greatest conductors. This will be yet another big experience in my career,” Armaz Darashvili, Georgian tenor, told GEORGIA TODAY.

“Daniel Oren is a natural-born talent,” said exceptional Georgian Soprano, Iano Alibegashvili. “I’m lucky enough to have the opportunity to perform together with him for the second time already. He is captivated by a love of the Georgian audience. I remember after he conducted Aida in Tbilisi Opera, he came and told us that he hadn’t wanted the performance to end,” she recalled.

Unforgettable concerts await opera enthusiasts in the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet State Theater on November 10 and 14, so don’t miss out on the chance to enjoy the world’s greatest productions performed by bright stars and led by internationally recognized and progressive conductor of our time, Daniel Oren.

By Lika Chigladze

08 November 2018 19:27