NEW YORK — For the first time in almost a century, composer Barsegh Kanachian’s opera “Monk,” a tragic love story set on the shores of Lake Sevan, will be featured on the world stage at The Master Theater under the artistic direction of Gosh Sargsyan, musical direction of Knarik Vardanyan and featuring the talents of Astghikner Youth Choir and the Shushi Dance Ensemble.
The opera will be performed on Friday, October 13, at the Master Theater, 1029 Brighton Beach Avenue in Brooklyn.
This special event, under the auspices of Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern) and sponsored by the Sahakyan Brothers, was brought to life through the shared musical passion of producers Maria Sahakyan, a New York-based vocalist and Sargsyan, who hails from Armenia and has directed creative works both in the homeland and abroad.
“One of our unique cultural pieces of the Armenian musical world is the Monk opera,” said Sargsyan, who has taught at the Abovyan Armenian State Pedagogical University for the past 14 years. “And after nearly eight decades of silence, I feel pride that we are able to stage this production in New York City.”
Not only is the opera being given a rebirth, it is also the debut performance of youth in Monk. In addition to lead actors Artur Babayan and Alen Manukyan, the opera will feature the voices of Armenians from the homeland and the Diaspora, alongside New York-based musical students of all backgrounds – from Mexican to Jewish to Russian to Georgian – who learned Armenian music under the training and guidance of Sahakyan.
The youth, aged 4-17, are members of Astghikner Youth Choir, which was founded by Sahakyan during her time as a teacher at St. Gregory Armenian Church Mission Parish of Brooklyn, New York. She welcomed anyone with a desire to learn Armenian music.