Bass Paata Burchuladze, born on Feb. 12, enjoyed a tremendous operatic career. He made a student debut in 1976 and would go on to perform all around the world in a wide range of repertoire ranging from Verdi, to Tchaikovsky, to Mozart, to Mussorgsky, among many, many others.
But the bass was always tied to his home country of Georgia, where he was born and raised. And after his work on the opera stage, he moved in a new direction in recent years. Here is a look at his work outside of the the opera world.
In 2004, he set up Iavnana, a foundation aimed at organizing concerts to support vulnerable children and families in Georgia. The organization managed to get the likes of Montserrat Caballe, Michele Crider, Ambrogio Maestri, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Badri Maisuradze, Zurab Sotkilava, Nino Surguladze, Tamar Iveri and others, to head to Georgia for concert performances.
His work with the foundation earned him the distinction of becoming a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador in 2006 and then a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in Georgia in 2010.
On May 12, 2016, the former singer announced the creation of the State for the People, a political party. His intention was to run for a parliamentary seat. At first everything looked bright for Burchuladze. He was even the most popular politician in his country.
“I played so many kings, politicians and powerful people on the stage, from Philip II to Boris Godunov,” he stated in an interview with Newsweek. “I will do my best to get the same applause, cheers and compliments in politics that I had on the stage.”
Ultimately, the campaign failed and in Dec 2016, he announced that he would withdraw from politics altogether.