«ARSHAK II»  is the first Armenian national classical opera written by Tigran Tigran Tchouhajian Tchouhajian in Constantinople, 1868. The libretto (Armenian and Italian) is written by T. Terzyan. It is based on historical records  written by Movses Khorenatsi (Moses of Chorene) and Pavstos Buzand (Faustus of Byzantium) about  Armenian king Arshak II, queen Olympias, Parandzem, princes Gnel and Tirit, as well as about the relations between Armenia, Persia and Byzantium.

The actions of the play take place in Armavir in 365-367. Terzyan’s libretto is  a «lyrical tragedy». Tchouhajian created a play full of traditions of European «grandExcerpt of  a score  of "Arshak II" opera opera» by embodying  lyrical main line of the libretto and at the same time revealing dramatic and heroic deviations. The opera was staged in Yerevan State Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet in 1945 (won USSR state prize, 1946), then it was re-staged in 1956, 1971 and in 1984. A new libretto was elaborated by A. Gulakyan.  A new editorial staff of the opera was founded (music editors-A. Shahverdyan, L. Khoja-Eytanyan). 

The  main roles of the opera were played by. P. Lisitsyan, Sh. Talyan, M. Yerkat (Arshak), H. Danielyan, G. Gasparyan (Olymipas), T. Sazandaryan (Parandzem), etc.




Source «Armenian Brief Encyclopedia», volume 1, chief editor, K. Khudaverdyan, Yerevan, 1990, p. 401 (in Armenian).


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