Maestro Andgulaze & Grandmaster Ataneli
28 February, 2013
Maestro Andgulaze & Grandmaster Ataneli
he great maestro has passed away but his legacy is very much alive and effectively working. Generations of Georgian opera singers have grown in the family of Davit and Nodar Andguladze – the father and the sun. Their students have seen the greatest stages of the world. One of the most famous among them is Lado Ataneli who has many times graced the Georgian Opera House with his outstanding performances of almost every baritone part. The other day, I happened
to see the letter by professor Nodar Andguladze, addressed to Lado and his wife Manana not long before his demise, which was translated by professor Inness Merabishvili from Georgian into English for her friends and it was not meant to publish. Following is the unabridged text of the letter, which I think deserves our attention. This is the way Nodar Andguladze, and earlier his father Davit doted over their pupils, propelling them towards the stage, where in the end the miracles happened, the miracles that the opera world is not going to forgetting ever. This is why we thought that the private letter, written by the great maestro for his brilliant student had to be given a chance to be known to public.

Dearest Lado and Manana,
What a delight your phone call was for me! Let every New Year turn for you into the year of your shared success, and let the already achieved triumphs be even higher — if this is possible at all — compared to your outstanding accomplishments of those bygone years. Wishing you this, I am trying to pensively recollect the milestones along the path, walked by you together towards the most successful end in vocal art, in acting, in artistic endeavor.
I am being overwhelmed – this is the only way I am inclined to describe my spontaneous reaction to what you have done in life. Further interpretation of my feelings for you might sound slightly irrelevant – let me refrain from this. The most descriptive parable that most comfortably fits into his image might be a rainbow, which is as gorgeous a view as Lado himself – striking and breathtaking. That is the rainbow to watch and enjoy!
I am far from falling short of words to further talk the talk profusely. Let me now proceed with surveying every curve of the road you guys have covered hand in hand, starting from your student years, adorned with talent, integrity, thoughtfulness and fine ear for tutor’s instruction up until your growing into genuine grandmasters of art. Your success happens to be the direct consequence of this. This is exactly what builds the content of sentiment and thoughts of mine of you – so elevating, lofty and grand.
From this standpoint, your life is unfolding in front of me like a cardiogram tape and tends to be presented in the image of a rainbow spectral effect. Nothing, no line, no dimension is escaping my eyesight, including the vocal sound, the sacrament of its emission and technique, flexibility of musical phrase, rhythmic order, precision of intonation, evolving with an unfailingly expressive power right into the scenic enactment. What sounds most valuable though is that all this is not being dispersed into a simple minutiae but blends together, achieving unity and creating amazing musical liberty, lightness, spontaneity and naturalness of the highest rank – the natural gradually turning into the supernatural.
To my mind, Lado has achieved the artistic virtuosity which has so prodigiously affected the audiences in the world, and certainly, in Georgia. The impression is as if the rising sun has illuminated the darkened stage and the entire realm of acing. This is not a regular encouraging evaluation – this is accurate, and this may not be perceived otherwise or understood in a different way.
Lado’s virtuosity is absolutely obvious in his role of Scarpia, and Tonio, and Nabucco, and Iago ... and I imagine, in Rigoletto too.
This is the way it was all achieved – being in action, toiling, sweating . . . and this is the only way to proceed in arts. No progress is possible without widening the range of vision and the scope of activity. Keep up a good job, my friends!
Our class and the lovers of opera in Tbilisi are still deep in there – your performance of Scarpia.
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