ASA: Armenian Students Association

Lecture and Musical Performance: Gariné - An Armenian Opera
Date: Friday December 17th 2010  
Time: 7:00pm
Live musical performance of the Armenian opera, Gariné, followed by a lecture by Gerald Papasian

Fri, December 17, 2010 7:00 pm at Alwan for the Arts


Christine Moore, Soprano
Aram Tchobanian, Tenor
Gerald Papasian, Singer/Actor
Sofya Melikyan, Piano

Free and Open to the Public

Donations are Welcome

Originally entitled Léblébidji Hor Hor Agha, Gariné, by Armenian composer Dikran Tchouhadjian, is the end product of a long voyage, the result of many successive layers of work, of modifications influenced by the different cultural and political climates in the countries where it was performed. Even after the tragedy of 1915 this work continued to be extremely popular with Turks and Armenians alike. Gariné is a voyage to the crossroads of East and West. There's no question that with an underlying vein of humor, farce and comedy, thanks to a delicate balance between music and text, the new libretto created by Gerald Papasian contains all the elements of a theatre piece with multiple themes of difference, the other, class structure, high and low culture, all embodied within the vibrant metropolis of nineteenth-century Constantinople.

is an operetta bouffe, a style closely associated with the late 19th century Frenchman Jacques Offenbach. It is an operatic genre which contains elements of comedy, satire, frivolity and farce (not surprising since its inventor Florimond Ronger, known as Hervé, was the organist in an insane asylum).

is the story of Armen, an impetuous young man, who dreams of creating the first major theater company in Constantinople, to play the works of great authors, breaking with the tradition of popular street theater. On opening night, his leading actress leaves and joins the cast of a competing troupe. Finding a replacement on such a short notice proves to be impossible. Armen's best friend and actor, Markar, offers to be a substitute, but Armen declines. Armen and Markar suddenly hear a young woman with an enchanting voice sailing on a boat. Trying to entice her to play the leading role is very complicated because her father, Hor Hor Agha, frowns on the immorality of the theater. Armen trying to convince Gariné that the theater is full of great stories, poetry and music sings a duet with her, which becomes the genesis of their love.

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