Armenian Opera by Canadian composer

Armenian Opera by Canadian composer

The history of adoption of Christianity by Armenia in 301 as a state religion is associated with the name of Gregory the Illuminator, who became the first Catholicos of the Armenian Church (302-306).

That important event in the history of Armenia and Gregory’s image served as the main theme for Children’s and Youth Opera ‘’The Illuminator” by Ron Hannah, a Canadian composer, who currently lives in Austria. Hannah admits, that a few years ago, during his visit, he was deeply impressed by Armenia- great Aram Khachaturian’s homeland.

The Monastery Khor Virap, elevated at the foot of Mount Ararat on the place where Gregory the Illuminator has been imprisoned for more than 10 years, produced strong exposure on him. He got acquainted with the amazing history of Gregory who became the main source of inspiration for the creation of his opera.

Finally, the long-awaited premiere took place in the State Theater of Musical Comedy named after Hakob Paronyan. The premiere was dedicated to the 25th Anniversary of Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Armenia and Austria as well as between Armenia and Canada. Students of music and art schools, students of Yerevan State Conservatory, the choir of Yerevan Music School named after Al. Spendiaryan (led by L. Edigaryan), the dance group of Yerevan State Choreographic College (led by T. Gharibyan), and musicians of the State Chamber Orchestra of Armenia (conductor A. Arzumanyan) were involved in the performance. Stage design and costumes were implemented by "Teryan" Cultural Center.

The exhibition “Toward The Light’’ opened in the theater’s lobby and organized by Anahit Tsaghikyan foundation preceded the music performance. This exhibition introduced works by students of art schools of Armenia.

The Artistic Director of the Opera and the author of libretto Andrea Mellis emphasized that libretto were based on the idea of survival and the opera should become an incentive for the children and youth stepping into the big world of art. Mrs. Nelly Sargsyan, the project producer, thanked the skills of the director and pointed out that all participants worked with great pleasure. Despite the language barrier the young soloists showed diligence and desire to dignifiedly perform on the stage.