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The News in Brief

Thursday, January 21
Tbilisi Opera reopens after five year maintenance closure

Tbilisi Opera House is reopening on January 30 after a five year closure, but some are not pleased that tickets for the opening night are not available to the general public.

The first piece to be performed since the building was closed for refurbishing in 2010 will be ‘Abesalom Da Eteri’, an opera by the Georgian composer Zakaria Paliashvili. The director is Gizo Zhordania, and among the singers are the world famous singers Lado Atoneli and Tamar Iveri.

However, on the first night, only invited guests from the theatre, the government, the Orthodox Georgian Church and representatives of the Cartu Group will be admitted entrance.

Many are disappointed after looking forward to the reopening for the last five years, and some vented their anger on social media networks.

The refurbishment was financed by Cartu, a corporation owned by Bidzina Ivanishvili, the billionaire who formed the Georgian Dream coalition and served as Prime minister for a year after it won the support of two thirds of Georgian voters in 2012.

The opera hall, which has room for 1,065 people, will be filled with invite-only guests on the first night. According to a spokesperson for the opera, people will be able to experience the same programme as on the opening night on January 31, as well as on February 2 and 21. Tickets are priced at 30 lari upwards, and will be sold in ticket booths.

The Ministry of Culture wrote in a statement on Tuesday that there is not enough room to accommodate everyone who wish to attend the opening. A decision was therefore made to hold three opening performances.

The management of the opera created a list of guests for the first opening together with the Ministry, according to the statement.

Among the guests are actors, singers, musicians, composers and their families, foreign guests, government members and diplomats.

“Invitations-only for the premiere is a normal international practice,” the statement reads.

“We hope that there will be the same interest towards future premieres.” (DF watch)

Driving and talking on the phone will be fined by 30 GEL instead of 10

Driving and talk on the phone will be fined by 30 GEL instead of 10. New traffic rule changes envisage stiffening administrative responsibility for a set of violations.

According to the bill put forward to Parliament, a new administrative fine will be imposed for crossing the separating line of a road. It will be 300 GEL.

If a driver violates road rules against pedestrians, first-time offenders will be fined by 40 GEL, while repeat incidents will result in a 150 GEL fine.

Fines for speeding will also increase, reaching 300 GEL.

Suspensions of driving licenses for 6 months in the event of drunk-driving will remain in force. (IPN)

Web addresses can be written in Georgian from now on

Georgians can now use their own Georgian alphabet to write web addresses in a browser.

The country was officially granted this right by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

According to the decision, web addresses will be written in the modern Georgian Mkhedruli script and ended with .?? (".ge"), the domain representing Georgia.

Details regarding the terms and conditions of registering Georgian language web addresses will be revealed at a special press conference by Tbilisi-based Information Technologies Development Center (ITDC) later this afternoon.

The ITDC was the organisation that negotiated with ICANN about using the Georgian alphabet in web addresses.

Today’s press briefing will be attended by the head of the Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC) Vakhtang Abashidze and ICANN representative for Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia, Michael Yakushev. (