BEING GRATEFUL

BEING GRATEFUL

The Opera and Ballet National Theater of Yerevan is not just an iconic building and a landmark: for decades it’s been one of the most important cultural spaces in the country. We asked several celebrities about their relationships with opera, ballet and the theater.

Text: Diana Martirosyan

 

Sergey Sargsyan

TV host

I got off on the wrong foot with ballet and opera. This always happens when you are exposed to something sophisticated at too young an age. I first saw the Swan Lake at the age of 6-7 in a Russian popular Tom&Jerryesque cartoon and a Soviet cult comedy film “The Caucasian Captive.” Both turned me off so hard that it would take years to rehabilitate the notion of this art form for me. But even at a later stage, I could not connect much with either ballet or opera as an art form: with single exceptions of the breath-taking performance and music of Khachaturyan’s Sabre Dance and the catchy tune of Bizet’s Carmen. That was it.

And then, one thing led to another and next thing I knew – I am acting in “Arshak II” (as Ambassador) in 2017, and in “Giselle” (as court guest) in 2018 (as a matter of fact on the day of writing this commentary), on the stage of the Opera and Ballet National Theater. What I gather from all this is: all is good at a good time and in a good proportion. And even better if you actually try the stuff you thought was too weird as a child. Today, I feel my whole essence is somehow correlated with the opera and ballet spirit.

 

Miqayel Voskanyan

Musician

I consider opera and ballet as a high-class art. It’s a synthesis of high-class professionals, who work together for something truly huge and important. There are not only librettists and opera singers but also designers, painters and decorators involved. So, everything is made for the spectator, for their aesthetic pleasure. Also, there is no opera and ballet theater building with a bad exterior or interior, so you can also enjoy great architecture here.

Although it could be a little bit difficult to perceive all the information at once, frequent visits can train your brain and acceptance. Obviously, people who attend this kind of events often have above-average intelligence, so visiting opera or ballet plays an important role for development and has an educational function. And now when we live in an era of pop culture, it’s more urgent than ever to keep our Opera and Ballet Theater alive and keep up the culture of visiting it. I don’t consider it as an old type of art, because these performances could be modern and presented in a new way.

I think that here, in Yerevan, the return of “Spartacus” played a major and important role for the ballet lovers. Now they have a truly good thing to watch.

 

Tatev Hovakimyan

Actress

Actually, as a child, I had a dream of becoming a ballet dancer. I still get carried away by beautiful ballet dancers. And, I think it’s very important for every country in the world to have its own ballet school. Unfortunately, now we can’t call Armenian ballet one of the strongest in the world, and I would like – both as an actress and a spectator – to see modern ballet on the stage of our Opera and Ballet National Academic Theater. Of course, classical ballet is amazing and very important, but the world is moving forward, so I truly believe that we need a modern version, a new ballet, so the audience could choose which they prefer. The most beautiful and wonderful thing is the body in motion, to see how the body moves, how it speaks using the language of movement. Thus, it develops the type of thinking when you don’t need any words, you can choose a different way of presenting your idea: the body speaks for you.

They say you either fall in love with opera or you learn to love it. At this stage of my life I’m trying to learn, maybe our National Theater will help me in it!

 

Samvel Tadevosyan

Actor, director

First and foremost, there is a big difference: the Opera and Ballet Theater is initially something alternative. Even if there are some dramatic things in musicals, in opera and ballet they are done differently. I worked for our Opera and Ballet Theater once, we did a modern play where I was the director, but, anyway, there was a choreographer, so that’s how I faced the huge scale of the theater.

 

Mkrtich Arzumanyan

Actor

It’s very important to visit first of all for the young people. Our Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra provides such a great and beautiful music under Eduard Topchyan! By the way, I’ve been honored to be the host of those concerts for several times! Of course, when a theater has great technical equipment it provides a large-scale show on the stage. But I guess it doesn’t affect the quality of what you can get as an opera or concert content.

Anyway, going to an opera, a ballet or a philharmonic concert has a huge, significant and essential impact on your taste, both aesthetically and mentally. And we must be really thankful to have this wonderful theater with its content in our city.