TBILISI, DFWatch–Tbilisi Opera House is reopening on January 30 after a five year closure, but some are not pleased that tickets for the opening night are not available to the general public.

The first work to be performed since the building was closed for refurbishing in 2010 will be ‘Abesalom Da Eteri’, an opera by the Georgian composer Zakaria Paliashvili. The director is Gizo Zhordania, and among the singers are Lado Atoneli and Tamar Iveri.

But on the first night, only invited guests from the theatre, the government, the Orthodox Georgian Church and representatives of Cartu Group will be allowed in.

Many are disappointed after looking forward the reopening for the last five years, and some vented their anger in social media.

The refurbishing work was financed by Cartu, a fund owned by Bidzina Ivanishvili, the billionaire who formed the Georgian Dream coalition and served as prime minister for the first year after it won the support of two thirds of Georgian voters in 2012.

The opera hall, which has room for 1,065 people, will be filled with invitation-only guests on the first night. According to a spokesperson for the opera, people will be able to experience the same program as on the opening on January 31, as well as February 2 and 21. Tickets are priced at 30 laris and more, and will be sold in ticket booths.

The Ministry of Culture wrote in a statement on Tuesday that there is not enough room to locate everyone who wish to attend the opening. A decision was therefore made to hold three opening performances.

The management of the opera created a list of guests for the first opening together with the ministry, according to the statement.

Among the guests are actors, singers, musicians, composers and their families, foreign guests, government members and diplomats.

“Invitations for the premiere opening is a normal international practice,” the statement reads.

“We hope that there will be the same interest towards future premieres.”