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From security service to Italian opera

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, July 22
Beqa Goginshvili is a young Georgian opera singer, who has done his best though the assistance of generous people, to go abroad and get his education there. He was an ordinary guard with a fine voice.

Beqa recently arrived to Georgia on his holiday, where he participated in a charity concert. The Messenger sat down with him and asked him how he managed to achieve success, who assisted him, what are the major challenges of living abroad and other related issues.

How did you manage to go abroad and study?

Well, one occasion changed my life in a day. I had to work in different places several years ago. One of such places was a guard service of the EU representation to Georgia. I worked as the house guard of Oliver Reisner, deputy EU mission head to our country. One day I participated in a concert through the invitation of my friend at the Tbilisi Conservatoire, where I invited Mister Oliver and his wife Eka. They liked my performance very much and promised assistance if I would decide to study abroad. Since then, I had started thinking over the issue, contacted Ala Simonishvili, a Georgian opera singer who has close ties to Italy. Through her assistance, I made all the necessary documentations and received an exam invitation from the Italy Osimo Opera Academy. Prior of my departure, Oliver and Eka hosted my solo concert in their own house, invited various diplomatic corps representatives. They introduced me to them, saying that I had talent, but economic hardship was holding back my career. Oliver and Eka encouraged me financially as well, and asked some of the guests to do the same if they wished. It was a very nice evening. Then I left everything here and went to Italy. There were many cases when I ran out of money. However, when I opened my internet banking account, I frequently found assets, one of such donors was Mrs. Eva from Poland. Mister Per Eklund, the former EU mission head also assisted me, he encourages me all the time.

What happened in Italy?

I passed my exams successfully. There were very famous opera singers in the commission that were selecting students. I was enrolled without any difficulties. Many famous Georgian opera singers like Iano Alibegashvili, Ala Simonishvili, Nino Surguladze, Ramaz Chikviladze, Mzia Nioradze, Mirian Kavtarashvili launched their careers from the academy.

Did you have any Georgian education in the opera field prior to going to Italy?

I finished musical college here in Georgia and then studied at the conservatoire. However, I had to work in different places and could not continue my studying there. It is quite difficult to work in different time-consuming jobs and study in the conservatoire at the same time.

How long have you been in Italy?

I have completed two courses there.

What were the major challenges of the period?

It was a very interesting period. I had 14 concerts throughout Italy during my first year However, at the end of the first course I faced a serious financial problem. Mamuka Khazaradze, head of TBC Bank to Georgia, who did not know me at all, heard about me and decided to support me. Oliver and Eka created a second solo concert for me in the second year. Apart from the initial one-time financial support, TBC bank gave me a scholarship for my second year in the academy. I want to thank them too – Mr. Khazaradze and Mrs. Tamar Kirvalidze from TBC Bank. At the end of May, 2014 I participated in an international concert in Ukraine with well-known international singers, where I sang one Georgian and one Ukrainian song. It was a very warm event, despite the horrible events taking place in Ukraine. The audience really enjoyed my version of the Ukrainian song. I met with Georgia’s Ambassador to Ukraine Mikheil Ukleba who congratulated me on a successful performance.

What are you planning for the third academic year?

Now I have a holiday. I hope that I will be able to continue my studying. This year, the Ministry of Culture also assisted me.

What is the advantage of getting your education abroad?

It is a huge area, where you can make contact and get to know many people. I have many friends already and conducted concerts in Belgium and The Netherlands. I have received nice assessments from various famous musicians. I have several suggestions concerning my future career as well.

Apart from the financial aspect, are there any fields creating problems for Georgian students studying abroad?

Money is a huge problem. The second problem is related to the language barrier. Before my departure to Italy, I knew English, I studied it myself. In Italy, I was attending five different classes to study Italian. If you have an aim, you must do your best. I managed to study Italian in 4 months. I cannot remember any other serious obstacles. The academy cares about our accommodation and finds cheaper flats for us.

Any other activities in Italy?

I own a black belt in karate and I did not want to lose this achievement. I have very good friends in Italy and we train at the gym together. There is a well-known Georgian sportsman in Italy. He does not know Georgian as he was born in Italy. His name is Giorgi Ugrekhelidze. My dream was to get to know him and I made this dream come true.

What are your short-term plans?

I hope that everything will be fine in the future. I have managed to reach this current stage and will do my best to fulfill my aims. I want to graduate from the Osimo Academy, I am going to study French and pass exams in one of the world’s leading academies in the future.