Tbilisi in Georgia knows the value of culture and of the arts. The refurbished Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre looks like a fabulous jewel box, overflowing with treasures. Every surface seems ornamented with mosaics, frescoes, gilding and light. What's more the wonderfully Byzantine style is apparently uniquely Georgian,. The new theatre will be a monument to Georgian art and tradition that the whole nation can be proud of. This theatre literally puts Tbilisi on the map.
After six years of restoration, the Tbilisi Opera house opens tonight with an opera, Abesalom and Eteri, by Georgia's greatest composer, Zacharia Paliashvili (1871-1933), after whom the theatre is named. The performance will feature leading Georgian singers, though not Paata Burchuladze who is taking a year off from singing to do other things, and may possibly run for political office. Read more about Paliashivili and the opera HERE. HERE is a link to more photos.
In contrast, British arts policy is defiantly reductionist. In the long term this meanness of spirit could strangle creativity, killing the goose that laid the golden egg that made Britain famous.