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The Opera House

      The Opera House       The Opera House named in honour of Alexander Spendiarov stands where Tumanyan Street crosses Mashtots Avenue. It is one of the best architectural structures in the Armenian capital. Its architect, Alexander Tamanyan, found an original way of placing two halls in one building: an opera hall which seats 1,260, and a concert hall seating 1,400. Tamanyan was awarded the Gold Medal for his original blueprint of the building at the International Fair in Paris in 1937.
      The theatre, which opened towards the end of 1932, stages classical Armenian, Russian and European operas, along with operas of modern Soviet and foreign composers.
      Standing in the spacious square in front of the theatre are the monuments to two outstanding representatives of Armenian culture: the writer and public figure Ovanes Tumanyan (1869-1923), sculpted by Ara Sarkisyan, and the composer Alexander Spendiarov (1871-1928), designed by Ara Sarkisyan and Gukas Chubaryan. Spendiarov's grave is close by, in the shade of trees. The Aram Khachaturyan Concert Hall and the Komitas Conservatoire are within a stone's throw of the Opera House.
      The world of music and poetry is indivisible, and this was well illustrated in the works of Sayat-Nova, the great ashug (folk singer and story-teller) who lived in Tbilisi in the 18th century and wrote in three languages: Armenian, Georgian and Azerbaijanian. Upon the decision of the World Peace Council Sayat-Nova's 250th Anniversary was celebrated in 1963, and a monument to him was erected in Yerevan. It was designed by sculptor Ara Arutyunyan and is an original structure of marble slabs crowned by a bust of Sayat-Nova.


 

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