Monday, March 19, 2007

Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra

With the kids. Amazing. I have unlocked the secrets of taking the kids to cultural events: dessert bribes and keeping it to one hour.

On a Friday night, we went to hear the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra at the Opera House which sits in the middle of Yerevan and is absolutely beautiful. We walked in and up to the nosebleed section, but of course Austin had to go to the bathroom so he and I walked back down to the basement where the bathrooms were located. The APO played Shostakovitch's Cello Concerto No. 1, the world premier Symphony No. 1 by Rostomyan (Armenian guy - still alive), and Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 Concerto. We left at intermission and missed Beethoven. I was disappointed, but decided that the evening had gone fairly well and didn't want to push the kids any father as the chocolate bribes were running low. We tried to leave through the doors we entered. Impossible. Stern looking Armenian women kept motioning to a door that was completely invisible from where we were. We finally turned a corner and luckily ran into a very nice Iranian teenager who understood our English and offered to show us the exit - through 2 unmarked doorways, down a dark flight of stairs and out the back.

Afterwards, we treated ourselves to Yum Yum donuts and a cappuccino for me. The kids even said they liked the symphony. Next week: Night on Bald Moutin (or, as translated, Night on a Bare Mountain).

One thing that was very suprising: the audience was composed sustantially of teens and young adults! And they were listening.

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