Too Light & Beautiful to Be True: Katie Melua in Tbilisi

On December 20, the culmination of the European tour, a tandem between Katie Melua, famous pop-star residing in the UK, and the Gori Women’s Chamber Choir, took place at the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theater - a concert which sold out in just 15 minutes!.

The long-awaited show started with a transparent song, as crystal as winter ice, justifying the name of the album “In Winter” from which the songs were performed at 28 concerts in Germany, The Netherlands, France, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Belgium and Great Britain. The tour began shortly after the CD was recorded last October and triumphantly ended in Tbilisi. “I cannot believe that I’m having a concert in Tbilisi,” Melua said emotionally at the beginning of the show.

In the first part of the show, 10 songs from the album were performed while in the second we were gifted with around 12 selected songs from Katie’s own catalogue, sung together with musicians Tim Harris on contrabass and Mark Edwards on keyboard.

“For me, winter is a great time, as people are thinking about the new season, New Year, traditions and time, as well as about the past,” Melua said. “It’s a very emotional period. I wanted to find something new and deeper. In the West, they say pop-stars are born, but I have learned from this cooperation that there is an artistic system that helps you to grow, too. Pop-music is such a strong format, one in which you can find important and deep motifs.”

Melua first heard the Gori Women’s Chamber Choir on the internet. “I was in rapture. It was a very strange musical world for me. I’ve been very lucky in the pop music genre in the UK, but it’s been 10 years,” she said. And then she found this new treasure in her homeland.

“I’m overwhelmed with happiness,” said Mikheil Giorgadze, Minister of Culture and Monument Protection. “We want to thank Katie Melua, her band, and the Gori Women’s Chamber Choir for this fantastic and unprecedented cooperation. I can’t even recall such a highly professional and valuable European tour. It received a lot of coverage on TV and it is an honor to have such a greatly successful project here, live, in Tbilisi.”

“The European tour was much more successful than any of us, even Katie, expected! I think our work has been truly appreciated!” said Teona Tsiramua, Artistic Director of the Gori Women’s Chamber Choir. “Paris, Berlin, London… Now I can add the Tbilisi concert… As a musician, Katie is very balanced, a person who very well understands the logic of music, which encouraged our work together.”

The English words and pleasant voice of Melua, together with her guitar-playing matched perfectly the Choir’s voices and repertoire, bringing many a listener out in goosebumps and giving a sensation of feather-lightness.

At the end of the concert, Giorgi Abashishvili, the Head of the Georgian president’s Administration voiced the decision of the President of Georgia to award Melua with an Honor for Special Contribution to the Popularization of Georgian Culture Abroad.

“I’m ecstatic,” Melua said after the concert. “I’ve been waiting for this day for so long. The audience was so warm! My music is more tender than noisy, more focused on lyrics. I’m very happy with how open-heartedly the public listened to our project and I didn’t feel as nervous as I thought I would. Working with the Gori Women’s Chamber Choir has let me see with my own eyes how serious, talented and strong we, Georgians, are!”

Maka Lomadze

22 December 2016 21:36