Georgian Mezzo-Soprano Ketevan Kemoklidze to Kickstart 2024 with Iconic Carmen Performance in Spain
By Salome Modebadze
Monday, February 12, 2024
With over two decades on the international stage, Georgian mezzo-soprano Ketevan Kemoklidze remains an influential figure in the performing arts world. Now a dedicated mother of two, she embarked on her professional journey in 2002 during a challenging period for Georgia following its independence from the Soviet Union.
In an exclusive interview with The Messenger prior to her departure for Spain, Kemoklidze expressed her excitement about commencing 2024 with the beloved role of Carmen, composed by Georges Bizet, at the Baluarte venue in Spain's Navarra region.
"My Carmen debut took place in Tokyo ten years ago, and since then, I have had the privilege of performing it in numerous languages across the globe, including Seville," she shared. "It holds immense significance for a Georgian singer to perform in Carmen's homeland, and I am honored to be entrusted with this role as a foreign artist. I have resided in Spain for eight years now, but this opportunity transcends borders and is a testament to my dedication as an artist."
Kemoklidze's journey began in 2002 when she, an economics student at Tbilisi State University, was cast as Maddalena in Giuseppe Verdi's Rigoletto at the opera studio of Tbilisi State Conservatoire. The following year, she ventured into international competitions and claimed her first grand prix at the prestigious Toulouse International Singing Competition in 2004. This accolade led to an invitation to join the esteemed La Scala Academy.
A Life Crafted with Passion
Kemoklidze, who discovered her passion for singing from an early age, has always believed in her chosen path.
"I wouldn't alter a thing about my journey. This is the life I envisioned for myself as a child, and I am grateful for the opportunities that have come my way. I had no guidance; no one showed me the path to follow. Life, fate, or whatever you may call it, propels you forward, but it is up to us to recognize and seize those chances," she mused.
Advising young musicians to maintain objectivity about their talents, Kemoklidze emphasized the importance of self-confidence and familial support. When parents and family recognize a child's true strengths, they refrain from interfering, but offer guidance when the child lacks confidence in their decisions.
"This profession demands immense effort and hard work, so it is essential for young artists to be realistic about their expectations. They should establish themselves in Georgia before venturing into international competitions. The profession of a musician is undoubtedly challenging, but I find that the modern youth are quite realistic in their approach," she said. Kemoklidze encourages young talents to work diligently, regardless of setbacks, as they always have the option to pivot if their initial endeavors prove unsuccessful.
Currently mentoring students in both Georgia and Spain, Kemoklidze believes that sharing her experiences is not only valuable for the youth but also for her personal growth.
Family as a Collaborative Effort
Living in Spain with her husband and two children, Kemoklidze cherishes her family's support system as she navigates her demanding career. Together, she and her husband share responsibilities to ensure the well-being of their children.
"Motherhood is an incredibly demanding role that requires continuous learning and preparation. Balancing it with a career as a musician presents additional challenges, but my children have adapted to my frequent travels. They have grown up in this environment and are accustomed to my lifestyle. However, like any other children, they yearn for their mother's presence at home," she confessed.
Before embarking on her journey to Spain to perform her beloved role of Carmen, Kemoklidze spent New Year's in Georgia, surrounded by family and friends in their newly acquired apartment.
New Year's Wishes and Dreams for 2024
Kemoklidze expressed her heartfelt wishes for the new year, extending them to herself, The Messenger's readers, Georgia, and the world. In these turbulent times, she emphasized the importance of inner peace and happiness, stating, "When you are happy, you want everyone around you to share in that joy. That's the unique nature of happiness-it needs to be shared."
She also acknowledged Georgia's significant milestone in 2023, receiving the status of a European Union candidate country.
With a packed schedule for the ongoing musical season, The Messenger extends its warmest wishes to Kemoklidze for continued success and international recognition. May her dreams for 2024 come to fruition, and her talent continue to inspire audiences around the world.