From the Biblical heights of Mount Ararat to the crystal-clear waters of Lake Sevan, passing monasteries and gorges, with helpful tips and honest insights, Bradt’s Armenia leads the way.
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A Night at the Armenian OperaThe performance of Verdi's Il Trovatore was due to start at 19.00. Payment of AMD 3,500 had secured us good seats in the stalls and we were there promptly. We purchased a program, which gave us a synopsis of the plot in Armenian (only). We noticed that few others bought program – the opera was being sung in Italian, but either most people knew the plot already or the desire for comprehension was not great. At 19.00 the theatre was almost empty. People continued to arrive and it was evident that 19.00 didn't mean 19.00. Finally at 19.20 the house lights dimmed and the orchestra pit, complete with players, was raised one foot. It was clear that 19.20 was a fairly arbitrary starting time. People continued to arrive, pushing their way past those already seated.Anyone who has read in novels descriptions of theatrical performances in Britain in the 18th or early 19th century will be able to imagine what it was like. Members of the audience chatted together – some of them paid no attention to the stage. The person sitting next to my wife used his mobile phone on a number of occasions. (When he wasn't on his phone, he was swigging from a bottle or eating).Behind the babble of conversation, the performance itself was of a commendably high standard: in particular the singing was better than one would find in this piece in many western European theatres.
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