Tbilisi Zakaria Paliashvili State Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet

No. 25, Sh. Rustaveli Avenue

Construction of the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet House took 16 years and was completed in 1896. It was named after Zakaria Paliashvili, founder of the Georgian composing school in 1937.

Initially, the theatre repertoire mainly consisted of the opera performances of foreign composers; it was only in 1919 when the masterpieces of Georgian composers, Zakaria Paliashvili’s Abesalom and Ether and Viktor Dolidze’s Keto and Kote were staged.

The first Georgian ballet performance, Andria Balanchivadze’s Heart of the Mountains, was also staged there by legendary Georgian ballet dancer, founder of the Georgian professional ballet, Vakhtang Chabukiani.

The theatre was designed by a German-origin architect from St. Petersburg, Victor Schreten and presents a pseudo-mauritanian style. The façade- in light and dark color stripes; arrow and horseshoe shaped entrances; and stalactite cornices are characteristic of Islamic architecture. The sculptures, paintings and mirror hall and entrance are also of the pseudo- mauritanian style. The theatre building is surrounded by a little garden where Z. Paliashvili is buried. There is a composer’s monument on his grave.

Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre has witnessed the performances of world class singers, among them: Vano Sarajishvili, Davit Gamrekeli, Petre Amiranashvili, Zurab Anjaparidze, Zurab Sotkilava, Makvala Kasrashvili, Nodar Andguladze, Paata Burchuladze and lado Ataneli. Today, the Tbilisi Ballet Theatre group is managed by Nino Ananiashvili, a ballet dancer of international fame.