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VERY IMPORTANT NEWS

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What you are about to read, gently speaking, is out of my realm of typical articles. If you've read some of my other posts, you probably know that I usually write about operas, classical music, and recently I did my first dramatic play article (which was super fun, by the way. . . you should check it out!) Back to what I was saying. I firmly believe that it is my duty and obligation, as a human being living on Planet Earth, to address the issue you will now read about below. It is very important to me and - I hope - important to you, too.

If you've been off the internet for the past two months, you probably haven't seen the several lengthy articles regarding the upcoming alien invasion. The sources aren't especially consistent when it comes to facts, but I think that this glitch is in reality the aliens trying to intercept the factual information that our fellow humans are putting out there for our use. I also think that in the case the aliens don't mean us any ha…

Theatre Adventures: Ganna Slutsky's play "The Maniac"

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On September 17, 2017, the Russian-Dramatic Theatre after K. S. Stanislavsky in Yerevan presented Ganna Slutsky's two-act tragicomedy The Maniac. Premiering in Yerevan on March 25, 2011, The Maniac is a play with enough plot twists to keep you puzzling over what just happened even long after you already left the theatre.


Led by artistic director Alexander Grigorian and stage director Yervand Yengibarian, actors Arman Kazaryan, Tatevik Melkonyan, and Manvel Khachatrian performed the nameless roles of Him, Her, and The Maniac. The play opens with a husband and wife; she is a playwrite and he is a director. He has just won an oscar-like award as best director, and tomorrow morning they are to attend yet another ceremony. A deplorable looking Christmas Tree flickers in the corner of the stage, and the couple prepares to celebrate New Years.



The audience finds out about the playwrite's daughter, and that although she was raised by the director, she isn't his biological daughte…

Gayane: Aram Khachaturian's Touching Ballet Performed At the A. Spendiaryan Opera and Ballet National Academic Theatre

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On September 16, 2017, the Armenian National Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet after A. Spendiarian performed Aram Khacharurian's mood-lightening ballet Gayane, conducted by Atanes Arakelyan and staged by Vilen Galstyan (People's Artist of RA), also the head ballet-master. The stunning set was drawn by the talented Armenian painter and Honored Painter of RA Minas Avetisyan(1928-1975), and the costumes, which played with the set very well, were done by costume designer Rubine Hovhannisyan. Gayane : Syuzanna Pirumyan (Honored Artist of RA
Armen: Sevak Avetisyan
Giko: Grigor Grigorian
Nune: Arshaluys Margaryan
Karen: Garegin Babelyan
Gayane's Father: Hrachua Hovhannisyan
Giko's Father: Zaven Harutyunyan (Honored Artist of RA) Although the plot of Gayane is tense, with all the unrequited love and kidnapping, the ending is happy. It's so happy that the 3rd act of the ballet is nothing but a wedding celebration! The music is emotionally charged and unless you know th…

The Last Judgement: Verdi's Masterful Requiem and Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel

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On September 14, 2017, the Armenian National Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet after A. Spendiarian performed Giuseppe Verdi's Requiem, but with a visual twist of murals from the Sistine Chapel, done by Michelangelo. The pictures were projected by "innovative technologies of the future" which allowed to create a "three-dimensional reproduction of the images of Michelangelo's masterpieces". Conducted by San Francisco-born conductor Konstantin Orbelyan Jr. (nephew of the famous Armenian conductor Konstantin Orbelyan), soloists soprano Marine Deinyan, guest mezzo-soprano from the USA Eleni Matos, bass Hayk Tigranyan, and tenor Sargis Aghamalyan performed Verdi's Requiem in this new realization of the stunning centerpiece of classical music. The visual effects were created by Italian stage and visual director Paolo Micciche. In Micciche's own words, "[t]he music of Verdi's Requiem has the same dramaturgy and rhythm as the great frescos by M…

Translation of Alexander Blok: The Lightning of Art (Masks on the Street chapter)

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This work, which essentially predicts the fall of mankind and all that it has produced, was originally written by Russian Silver-Age poet Alexander Blok in 1909, more than one-hundred years ago. Describing his travels to Italy, once a large, cultural center of European civilization, The Lightningof Art, Blok’s unfinished book, delves into the depths of human nature, art, and technological achievements reached by mankind.

Reflecting and projecting the common intolerance of his day, Blok’s venomous foreword predicts the downfall of humankind caused by technology. Although very pessimistic in its nature, intolerant towards people of low social rank (the working class), and disrespectful towards people of other nationalities, Blok’s text still possesses relatable thoughts and ideas that we, people of the future, must not disregard. It is undeniable that, although his attitude towards technology is filtered by the conservatism of his time, he was close in his predictions that Art, in his un…

Translation of Alexander Blok: The Lightning of Art (Foreword to his unfinished book)

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This work, which essentially predicts the fall of mankind and all that it has produced, was originally written by Russian Silver-Age poet Alexander Blok in 1909, more than one-hundred years ago. Describing his travels to Italy, once a large, cultural center of European civilization, The Lightning of Art, Blok’s unfinished book, delves into the depths of human nature, art, and technological achievements reached by mankind.

Reflecting and projecting the common intolerance of his day, Blok’s venomous foreword predicts the downfall of humankind caused by technology. Although very pessimistic in its nature, intolerant towards people of low social rank (the working class), and disrespectful towards people of other nationalities, Blok’s text still possesses relatable thoughts and ideas that we, people of the future, must not disregard. It is undeniable that, although his attitude towards technology is filtered by the conservatism of his time, he was close in his predictions that Art, in his…

"Huge As The Ocean...Infinite As The Sea": Puccini's La Boheme with the Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra

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I'm only a  week or so late on my article on Giocomo Puccini's La Boheme (hehe), with the Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra and Eduard Topchjan conducting on July 26, 2017 at the Aram Khachaturian Concert Hall. The lovely cast consisted of the same singers who performed at the Opera Gala two days earlier, on July 24, 2017.

Liparit Avetisyan as Rodolfo
Ani Yorentz as Mìmì
Gianpiero Ruggeri as Marcello
Hasmik Torosyan as Musetta
David Babayants as Schaunard
Vazgen Gazaryan as Colline
Gagik Vardanyan as Benoit
Hovhannes Nersesyan as Alcindoro

Avetisyan and Yorentz performed very well together, with harmonious acting and very strong mutual stage presence. The aria duo scene, with Che gelida la manina and Si, mi chiamano Mimi was performed by both exquisitely and the audience could tell that they were engaged in a conversation.
Another dynamic duo was Gianpiero Ruggeri and Hasmik Torosyan, who were not only funny at times but also very heartfelt. Musetta and Marcello were v…