Opera and Ballet Theatre
See & Do
Armenian National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet, commonly referred to as “Opera”, is one of the iconic landmarks of Armenia’s capital, Yerevan.
The Opera House, officially called “Armenian National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet named after Alexander Spendiaryan”, is the very heart of Yerevan. It is considered to be so due to its central location, but most importantly due to its mission, that of being a hub for art and cultural events. The first opera performance staged in the Opera Theatre was Alexander Spendiaryan’s opera “Almast”. Alexander Spendiaryan, whose name is also firmly mentioned in the full name of the Opera House, is the founder of Armenian national symphonic music.
Yerevan’s Opera House has hosted numerous high-end classical concerts, including works of Aram Khachaturyan, Giuseppe Verdi, Pyotr Tchaikovsky and others, as well as many national and international award ceremonies, concerts of renowned artists, and more.
The building of the Opera House was constructed in 1933, based on the design of Yerevan’s chief architect Alexander Tamanyan. Its majestic design was so thrilling that it received a Grand Prix at the international exhibition of Paris. From its establishment up to this day, the building of Opera House amazes tourists from all around the world. Every visitor takes the opportunity to capture Armenian composer Aram Khachaturyan’s statue on the front side of the building.
Opera House is located on Mashtots Avenue, near France Square. The latter is famous for having Auguste Rodin’s statue of French painter Jules Bastien-Lepage in the middle of it. The sculpture was a gift from France to the Armenian people upon the French incumbent president Nicolas Sarkozy’s visit to Yerevan in 2011.
The Opera House is also very close to other landmarks of Yerevan, such as the Cascade, Swan Lake, Yerevan State Conservatory, Matenadaran - Institute of Ancient Manuscripts, and many others.
The “backyard” of Opera House incorporates one of the largest squares of Yerevan, the Liberty Square. The latter is home to the statues of the two Armenian brightest minds, Hovhannes Tumanyan -Armenian poet, and Alexander Spendiaryan -conductor, composer. Today, Liberty Square is one of the favorite places for children and youth serving as a playground and bicycle riding space. It is to be noted, that the Square is particularly famous for hosting many political and national demonstrations during different epochs before and after Armenia’s independence.
Besides being a venue for classical concerts and other art-related events, locals use the name of “Opera” as a meeting point. A telephone conversation like, - “Where shall I meet you?”, - “Near the Opera!”, is very common in Yerevan. The building opens up as a panorama from highest points of Yerevan, such as top of Cascade staircases, or the Park of Victory.
Opera is surely one of the primary sights of Yerevan to visit once in the city. If a concert is happened to be scheduled during your visit, make sure you attend it. Otherwise, you can still enjoy its architectural majesty by taking a walk around it.