Paata Burchuladze announced this week that he will run in the parliamentary elections in his native Georgia on 8 October with his State for the People Party. The operatic bass cancelled a year of commitments – including La Scala, Covent Garden and The Met – when in November last year he announced his intention to form a Foundation which many believed could turn into a political party.
After 35 years on the opera stage he has decided to dedicate himself to improving the lot of his homeland.
I am forced to leave the sweet and good life of an opera career and go into politics. This is not because I'm a good person or politician, but because the country is in a very bad condition.
Burchuladze complains that in the 25 years since Georgia regained its independence the cycle of “hope, frustration, protest” continues and he says that it is time to end that “vicious circle”: widespread corruption must be eradicated, and the people of Georgia need to find true peace.
In a statement he said,
I have an excellent political team and we have defined what we want to do after we enter parliament. We will have strong representation in parliament and we will cooperate with all parties. All Georgia is currently on our side.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.