Khibla Gerzmava gave a solo concert on the stage of the Sukhum Rusdram as part of the XIX Festival "Khibla Gerzmava invites".

The Abkhazian part of the XIX Festival "Khibla Gerzmava Invites" opened with recitals of the Honored Artist of Abkhazia and Russia Khibla Gerzmava, which took place on the stage of the Russian Drama Theater named after Fazil Iskander on October 8 and 9 in Sukhum. The concerts in Sukhum are the second stage of the 19th festival which it began in Moscow.

The head of Rusdram Irakli Khintba noted that the "Khibla Gerzmava Invites" Festival has become a visiting card for Abkhazia, it "brings it to the level of important cultural spaces in the South Caucasus and far beyond".

"It is very important that the festival is regularly held in our country, that Khibla pays great attention to this, that she always comes up with something very interesting for the Abkhazian audience, whom she loves very much and these feelings are mutual. Everyone in Abkhazia knows that Khibla Gerzamava is our national treasure," Irakli Khintba said before the start of the concert.

He also read out greetings on behalf of the Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation Olga Lyubimova to the organizers, participants and guests.

"The festival continues to develop and acquire its own traditions, gain wide international fame, and attract gifted artists to participate. Today, masterpieces of world musical art will be performed in a standard performance filled with inner expression and bright emotional presentation. I am confident that the organizers will once again demonstrate their impeccable taste in a program that will enrich the world of music with new harmonies," the greeting says.

The works performed by Khibla Gerzmava were romances and operatic roles. The singer was accompanied by the concertmaster, Honored Artist of Abkhazia Ekaterina Ganelina. The concert program included romances by Glinka, Rimsky-Korsakov, Dvorzhak and other composers. Khibla Gerzmava performed Norma's cavatina from Bellini's opera Norma, Tosca's aria from Puccini's Tosca, Leonora's aria from Verdi's Troubadour.

At the end of the concert, Khibla Gerzmava asked the audience to sing with her. She sang a folk Abkhazian song together with the audience.

The surprises of the evening did not end there. The opera diva and her friend, philanthropist Yevgeny Palant, presented the Sukhum Music School, where Khibla herself once studied, a gift - a grand piano.

"God grant there will be more great graduates from the music school. Let the music always sound there," Gerzmava wished.

The famous Abkhazian philanthropist Nikolay Achba called the concert "a breath of fresh air".  Achba, according to the very prima of the world opera, is one of those people, thanks to whom the "Khibla Gerzmava Invites" Festival has been pleasing the Abkhazian audience for many years.

Nikolay Achba said, among other things, that in some countries of the world, visiting classical music concerts is prescribed today as rehabilitation for those who have had COVID-19.

"At a time when we are all close to depression, when this damned disease has been raging for the third year already, taking people’s lives ... it seems to me that such events remind us that, in addition to diseases and some difficulties, there is also a different life. We must not forget about it, we must enjoy life. In my opinion, the audience was happy," the philanthropist summed up.

Former Minister of Culture of Abkhazia Elvira Arsalia believes that Khibla Gerzmava "always carries a special mission."

"Her presence here today, against the background of our lockdown, is like some kind of impulse, a very good sign, after which life should bubble up," Arsalia shared her impression.

Concerts in Rusdram on October 8 and 9 were held within the framework of the second stage of the XIX Festival "Khibla Gerzmava invites". Prior to that, concerts took place in Moscow in the Great Hall of the Conservatory. On November 24, the Latvian opera singer Elina Garancha is scheduled to visit Moscow, with whom Khibla Gerzmava will again perform in the Great Hall of the Conservatory. What’s more, the Festival will continue in Abkhazia in November. Then Gerzmava plans to come with conductor Vladimir Spivakov and hold a concert together with the Moscow Virtuosi orchestra.

The "Khibla Gerzmava invites" music festival was founded by Khibla Gerzmava herself in 2001 in Abkhazia. It expanded its boundaries since 2015 and took place in Moscow in the Great Hall of the Conservatory, on the stage of the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theatre, in Vienna in the golden hall of Musikverein, in Carnegie Hall, in the Swiss city of St. Moritz. During the existence of the festival, such giants of world music as Vladimir Spivakov, Elena Obraztsova, Denis Matsuev, Ildar Abdrazakov, Deborah Brown and others participated in it. Art historian Svyatoslav Belza was a long-standing permanent concert host. The festival is of particular importance for all music lovers in Abkhazia, because every year Khibla Gerzmava brings the best musicians and the best music programs to her homeland.