Armenian Opera Theater

The Armenian National Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre named after Alexander Spendiaryan (Armenian: Ալեքսանդր Սպենդիարյանի անվան օպերայի և բալետի ազգային ակադեմիական թատրոն) in Yerevan was officially opened on 20 January 1933. The building was designed by the Armenian architect Alexander Tamanian.

The ground-breaking of the Opera-Theatre took place on 28 November 1930 during the celebrations of the 10th anniversary of Soviet Armenia. In January 1933, the building was officially opened. Soon after the theatre foundation, a ballet troupe was established. Swan Lake by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was the first ballet performance in 1935.

In 1938, the theatre was named after Alexander Spendiaryan, great Armenian composer, author of opera Almast which was performed in 1933 as a first performance at the theatre. The 2nd phase of the construction was completed in 1940 by according to Tamanian's design and under the supervision of his son.

Large-scale construction works were applied until 1953, when the building was finally completed with its current shape.

The opening of the theatre promoted the creation of new national operas and ballets. The first Armenian ballet was Happiness by Aram Khachaturian. On the basis of this ballet the composer soon created Gayane which has been performed all over the world. Many other Armenian composers have written operas and ballets. Over the years, these artists have worked at the theatre: singers Gohar Gasparyan, Tatevik Sazandaryan, Mihran Erkat, Pavel Lisizian, Aikanush Danielyan, Nar Hovhannisyan, Gegham Grigoryan; conductors Konstantin Saradjev, Michael Tavrizjan, Aram Katanyan, Yuri Davtyan; ballet masters A. Petrosyan, M. Chmshkyan, V. Khanamiryan, Vilen Galstyan; painters Martiros Saryan, Minas Avetisyan.

Since 1935 a unique Armenian opera, Anoush by Armen Tigranyan, has been performed. It was a great step in Armenian opera history. Anoush is in the repertoire of the theatre until now.

In 1956, the theatre received the status of National Academic Opera & Ballet Theatre.

Since it was opened, the Armenian National Opera & Ballet Theatre has performed more than 200 different operas and ballets by Armenian, Russian and West European composers.

The theatre company has performed in more than 20 countries, e.g. in Russia, Spain, Lebanon, USA, Greece, Germany.