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Positions of Directors vacant at Opera and Rustaveli Theatres

By Keti Arjevanidze
Friday, January 25
Zaal Chikobava has left his position as Managing Director of the Rustaveli Theatre, the Minister of Culture and Monument Protection Guram Odiasharia stated on January 24th. “Agreement between Robert Sturua (acting Artistic Director of Rustaveli Theatre) and Chikobava could not be achieved. Supposedly Sturua will occupy the position of the theatre’s manager.” stated the Minister.

According to Chikobava despite his attempts it was impossible to form a working relationship with Sturua. Chikobava said that Artistic Director Robert Sturua sent him a list of actors and he was asked to offer all the actors three month contracts., “To give actors such as Kakhi Kavsadze, Janri Lolashvili, Marina Kakhiani the same contract as was offered to actors who have recently joined the theatre was unacceptable to me.” Chikobava stated.

Chikobava also spoke about the pressure from the Ministry of Culture. “We were forced to write letters of resignation, in order to give the arena to the great artist Robert Sturua.” he said.

Actress and Deputy Manager of the Theatre Marina Sagharadze, expressed her solidarity with Chikobava and resigned. She said she was not under pressure and explained her decision as a moral one.

Chikobava's place as manager will be taken by Robert Sturua, who had earlier declared that he would return to the theatre if he were offered the positions of both artistic director and manager.

Odiasharia also stated that the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection supports the Rustaveli Theatre’s development, and worried about the disagreement between Chikobava and Sturua.

Odisharia also commented about the resignation of Davit Sakvarelidze, Director of the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theater, who left the post by the decision of the Culture Minister. Odisharia explained that everything needs renovation and development; accordingly the change of directors became an active subject of discussion. “We offered him [Sakvaraledize] the position of artistic director of the theatre but he refused.” Odisharia stated.

A group of artists protested Odisharia’s decision in front of the Culture and Monument Protection Ministry. Jean Luca Marciano, the Italian conductor of the Opera and Ballet Theatre said that artists were not informed about the Ministry’s decision. “We want to be informed about the plans and ideas of the Ministry regarding us and we want to have the opportunity to express our opinions." Marciano said.

Actor Irakli Cholokashvili thinks that such a decision was taken in order to “kill” the working process artificially.

Deputy Minister of Culture Aleksandre Margishvili met with the protesters. He said that agreement between the artists and the Ministry will be achieved eventually.

Odisharia has already considered Giorgi Jordania for the position of Director of the Opera and Ballet Theatre.