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Showing posts from July, 2017

Opera gala time: Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra under Eduard Topchjan

The Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra, performing at the Aram Khachaturian Concert Hall, under the baton and artistic direction of Maestro Eduard Topchjan, never ceases to impress its summer audiences with the exceptionally entertaining and high-quality performances given. Featuring baritone David Babayants, soprano Ani Yorentz, tenor Liparit Avetisyan, soprano Hasmik Torosyan, bass Vazgen Gazaryan, and baritone Gianpiero Ruggeri, the Opera Gala produced an unforgettable effect upon the audience.
The program included selections from Leoncavallo, Gounod, Tchaikovsky, Mascagni, Puccini, Verdi, Mozart, Rossini, and Donizetti.

The spectacular gala opened with Gianpiero Ruggeri’s stunning performanc of Si puo? Si puo? Signore! Signori!, Tonio’s prologue from Ruggero Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci. Not only was the actual content of Tonio’s Prologue an ideal stage-warming number, it also manifested Ruggeri’s intriguing acting and smooth vocal production.

Next on the program was Ani Yorentz…

Pianist Hrant Bagrazyan in Concert: In Memory of Professor Igor Yavryan

On July 19, accomplished classical pianist Hrant Bagrazyan gave a summer piano recital at the beautiful venue of the Komitas Museum-Institute, a "museum in Yerevan, Armenia, devoted to the renowned Armenian musicologist and composer Komitas", in memory of Professor Igor Yavryan, who passed away earlier this summer on June 16. Professor Yavryan was Bagrazyan's teacher and mentor.

"He helped me love and appreciate classical music and shaped me as a musician", wrote Bagrazyan. "Without him I wouldn't become a pianist."

The house was completely full, even with the necessity of adding several extra chairs to the rows in order to fit everyone who showed up for the performance. This is not surprising considering the high quality of the performance given.

The stunning program consisted of Komitas'  Six Dances, Johannes Brahms' Sonata No. 3 Op. 5 in f minor, Arno Babajanian's Six Pictures, and Maurice Ravel's Reflections. 

Komitas wrote th…

"You are a Genius, Bellini...": The Swan of Catania's Short, Yet Prolific Life

"For it seems that, in spite of all his talent, Bellini's was a very ordinary character. In this book you see him all engrossed in self-adoration; you see how he admires every single bar he has written, how he cannot tolerate any criticisms of his music whatsoever and sees jealous and intriguing enemies everywhere, even though success never (or almost never) deserted him from the very beginning of his career to the very end. Judging from his letters, he did not love anyone, he never cared about anybody else, and indeed nothing that lay outside the sphere of his interests seemed to exist for him." -Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky on Francesco Florimo's novel about Bellini

This article will focus primarily on the life of the well-known Bel Canto composer, Vincenzo Bellini, whose operas are much loved and still performed to this day. I would like to send out a disclaimer into the general expanse  of the universe that I am posting this exclusively for entertainment purposes, and …

The Fake Spanish Galleon in the Real Port of Genoa!

In the heart of the Port of Genoa (or almost the heart, I don't actually know where, biologically speaking, the heart of the port could be), stands Neptune, a ship replica of a 17th-century Spanish galleon. The ship, built in 1985, was featured in Roman Polanski's film Pirates. The ship is an exact and accurate replica, except for a steel hull and a 400 HP auxiliary engine (don't ask me what that is). It was, however, slightly larger than a 100% historically accurate Spanish galleon would be. Polanski's prop was very expensive; although the total cost of the entire film Pirates was supposed to be a small sum of $15 million, it ended up being $40 million because of the enormous size of the ship and filming locations that were in far off, exotic places. Neptune also got a gig in 2011, where she portrayed the role of the Jolly Roger, Captain Hook's ship from Neverland.

The 1986 film Pirates is a Franco-Tunisian adventure comedy film. It was directed by Roman Polanski …