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date: 20 November 2019

Anushlocked

  • Laurel Fay

Extract

Opera in four acts by Armen Tigran Tigranyan , orchestrated by G. Ya. Burkovich, to his own libretto after Hovhannes T’umanyan’s poem; Alexandrapol (now Kumayrï), People’s City Hall, 4 /17 August 1912.

Anush was the first opera to receive its première in Armenia, in amateur productions which helped to disseminate its popular melodies. It also helped establish the foundations for a national operatic style. In 1935 it was revived for Erevan in a revised version (in five acts and reorchestrated) given by the Spendiaryan Armenian Theatre of Opera and Ballet; the same company later performed Anush in Moscow at the Bol’shoy (22 October 1939). T’umanyan’s lyric poem – a timeless tragedy of lovers sacrificed on the altar of social prejudice – to which Tigranyan turned in 1908 was rich in local colour and atmosphere, features enhanced by the music. Although only one folksong is quoted, Tigranyan’s score is permeated with traces of Armenian folklore: modal melodic inflections and ornate embellishments, song forms, improvisatory flexibility, evocative instrumental colour and native drumming styles, and the traditional forms of wedding and ritual music....

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