About Sights – The Tbilisi State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre

Opened in 1851, the Tbilisi State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre was the first opera theater in all Transcaucasia. Situated on Rustaveli Avenue, in the centre of Tbilisi, it is the oldest opera house in Georgia.

19th century photograph of the Tbilisi State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre

19th century photograph of the Tbilisi State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre

Designed by by the Italian Architect,  Antonio Scudieri, the theater had a capacity of 800 spectators and was comparable to European theaters of the time.

19th century photograph of the Tbilisi State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre

19th century photograph of the Tbilisi State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre

The Parisian newspaper, ‘Illustrations’ (issue of 25 October 1851) wrote: ‘This is the only theatre in the city, the interior of which is totally Moorish in style, and is doubtless one of the most elegant, beautiful and fascinating theatrical constructions, conceived by man’.

19th century photograph of the interior of the Tbilisi State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre

19th century photograph of the interior of the Tbilisi State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre

On 11 October 1874 the theater was devastated by fire but was subsequently restored.

The Tbilisi State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre

The Tbilisi State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre

The main chandelier weighs 3.5 metric tons and contains 700 light bulbs.

The interior of the Tbilisi State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre

The interior of the Tbilisi State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre

The interior of the Tbilisi State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre

The interior of the Tbilisi State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre

The interior of the Tbilisi State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre

The interior of the Tbilisi State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre

Poster advertising a performance of Don Giovanni by the Tbilisi State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre

Poster advertising a performance of Don Giovanni by the Tbilisi State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre

The theater is currently closed for a $40 million refurbishment and is expected to re-open in early 2016.

The Tbilisi State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre

The Tbilisi State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre

All photos courtesy of the Tbilisi State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre.

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