Ethnically Georgian Russian Star Arrives in Tbilisi
12 April, 2012
Ethnically Georgian Russian Star Arrives in Tbilisi

On April 7, Tbilisi Concert Hall hosted a grand gala concert. This time, it gave its premises to the Georgian-born singer, one of the most eminent Russian modern pop stars, Valeri Meladze.  

 

It is a fact that he has not performed for the native Georgian audience since 1997. So, after the pause of fifteen years, he has decided to arrange a warm rendezvous with Tbilisi dwellers. Valeri Meladze is an ethnic Georgian, born and raised in Batumi. However, his Russian

roots on his mother’s side and the unstable political situation in Georgia following the collapse of the Soviet Union, made him quit his homeland for Russia where he, together with his brother Constantine Meladze, achieved a great success and made a thriving artistic career. He is one of the most prominent and popular pop stars in the Russian show-business nowadays.

Valeri Meladze greeted the audience in Georgian. He said in his native language: “I am very happy to be on Georgian stage today. I am excited that I am performing in Tbilisi, in my native city and country and I thank you very much that we are here together tonight.” Then he changed his monologue to the Russian and added that he was very happy to have received the sold-out information. Valeri Meladze added that in spite of having a definite program, he would try to perform other songs the public would demand. And he fulfilled his promise .

The star visited Georgia together with a 25-manned ensemble. After rather a boring new program that the singer did not approve of very much either, the series of the most beloved old songs started. It was a firework of talent and emotions – beginning with such great hit as “How Beautiful You Are” that was dedicated to all the women and girls attending the concert. It was followed by the song “Without Fuss”, which he christened as “not only a song, but also a reflection of the middle-aged-man’s spiritual condition”. But the main surprises were ahead: soon he made an introduction that the performer of the next song was a very distinguished person who has always been an example for him; and it turned out to be Vakhtang (Buba) Kikabidze, famous Georgian singer and film actor, who is also very popular in Russia. Valeri sang Buba’s famous hit “Land of Flowers” in Georgian. The audience received this song with particular cordiality and a storm of applauses.

Afterwards, a small game was offered. The soloist proposed a mini polling to reveal the most favorite song out of a great number. “Sera” became the winner. Valeri Meladze was very glad and he mentioned that it is a great honor for him to perform for the Georgian audience the song that will soon celebrate its 15th anniversary. The concert was very successful; besides the wonderful vocal, it was accompanied by marvelous musicians and backed by the screen show featuring the clips of corresponding  songs. The ensemble included one more Georgian national Shalva Tsiklauri who played on the keys.

The audience was very interactive and accepted the long-awaited singer with Georgian roots with warmth and affection. They did not hesitate to express their devotion openly – there was a wide range of ages of all women, beginning from children ending with the quite elderly females. The singer seemed quite happy and contented.

Soon, the photo of Constantine Meladze, Valeri’s brother, emerged on the screen. “I am very proud that he is my brother and at the same time, the author of all of my songs,” the singer commented.

The following song was a very popular one; it was named “Samba of a White Moth”. Soon, the Georgian singer Achiko Meparidze came to stage and presented the gift – Georgian traditional Chokha on behalf of the Chairman of the Georgian Union of Arts, Davit Okitashvili. Valeri Meladze changed to this impressive robe  immediately. Soon, the local folk ensemble ‘Georgian  Voices’ also appeared. Valeri Meladze said that he wanted to pronounce a toast to Georgia. Then, the most emotional moment arrived: he performed the song “I Am a Foreigner Everywhere”. If we translate the text, it sounds like “I’m stuck like a small boat in a huge ocean. I am a foreigner, although they tell me everywhere that I am theirs.” The song clearly expresses the sorrow of a man with two homelands. The great ovation, accompanied by tears in the spectators’ eyes, did not let the performers leave the stage.

The second Georgian song was great composer Gogi Tsabadze’s indelible piece “I am Alive”. The song was accompanied by the choir of “Georgian Voices”.

The concert was a charitable event to help the children suffering from leukemia and autism. “Our composer Nato Gelashvili once said in her song that God will never leave you as long as you share the other people’s joy,” Davit Okitashvili, organizer of the gala said onstage.  “It is an utmost pleasure for an artist to be able to help somebody. Thank you for this opportunity.” Valeri Meladze declared.

The concert was capped with the most beloved and popular Georgian song of all times, Revaz Laghidze’s “Tbiliso”, which Valeri Meladze performed together with the famous Georgian female singer Sopo Khalvashi. As a matter of fact, it was Sopo whom Valeri Meladze was judging as a jury member at the Yurnala Internatinal Singing Contest “New Wave” few years ago.

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