My day in Tbilisi yesterday began with the twenty minute walk up to the Conservatory from my hotel, the Ambasadori where I have stayed on each of my previous visits to Tbilisi. It is the very antithesis of the standard Euro-American chain establishment - a delightful and perfectly comfortable one-off in a convenient and pretty quarter of town. Recommended, unless you absolutely cannot live without the Marriott experience which is available in town if you need it!
It was very hot yesterday but tolerable when I climbed the gentle gradient to Rusteveli Avenue. Georgia is a Christian country so the people were out for morning services - and so were the stall holders……..
My auditions in the Conservatory were once again an impressive display of the results of the vocal pedagogy here - remarkable voices with superb technique - and not afraid to use those voices. But a word of caution - the Soviet tradition seems to give priority to the display of full voice to the virtual exclusion of attention to text driven shading and dynamic range. This of course diminishes the impact however magnificent the vocal material. Nevertheless we will see and hear some Georgians at the finals in October - they will be noticed!!
Alas some of the Armenians scheduled to come to Tbilisi from Yerevan for the original date two weeks ago did not make it yesterday. That was disappointing.
And so at around 3 pm I returned down Rusteveli Avenue and past the famous Rusteveli Theatre (above), to the hotel, the mile walk downhill this time - just as well in the oppressive heat. A couple of hours in the cool of the hotel and I then went out to enjoy the little area around Shavteli Street which includes the oldest church in Tbilisi. And then to another fine supper at the Café Gabriadze.
Entrance to the Anchiskhati Basilica, Tbilisi 6:30 pm June 28 2015
This morning was indeed an early one, waking at 4:45…….and an eight hour journey back to London. Where I now am! Its 1:45 pm.