LONDON (Public Radio of Armenia)—Prince Charles of Wales hosted a charitable evening gala at Buckingham Palace in London on October 27, for the benefit of British-Armenian charitable projects, Assadour Guzelian reports for Public Radio of Armenia.
The gala was attended by President Serzh Sarkisian, His Holiness Karekin II Catholicos and Supreme Patriarch of All Armenians, and other representatives of Armenia and the Armenian community of Britain.
The evening began with a reception followed by a special concert by the world famous Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra from St. Petersburg, conducted by Maestro Valery Gergiev. The orchestra performed Debussy’s Prelude a l’apres midi d’un faune, which Maestro Gergiev dedicated to the memory of Contessa Yoko Nagae Ceschina (5 April 1932 – 10 January 2015), a noted patroness of classical music.
Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations was breathtakingly performed by the orchestra and young cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan, 1st Prize Gold Medal winner of the XIV International Tchaikovsky Competition 2011.
Accompanied by the orchestra, the Grand Prix winner of the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition 2015, Mongolian baritone Ariunbaatar Ganbaatar sang Tchaikovsky’s Yeletsky’s aria from Queen of Spades.
After Verdi’s Overture to La Forza del Destino and Wagner’s Prelude to Lohengrin, Act I, masterfully performed by the orchestra, the artistic part of the evening concluded.
In his speech, Dr. Armen Sarkissian thanked Prince Charles for his untiring efforts and dedication to both the saving of Dumfries House and Yerevan My Love projects. He also thanked everyone attending the gala for their generous donations.
Prince Charles expressed his gratitude to Dr. Sarkissian and all the benefactors, particularly Haik and Elza Didizian, and Vatche and Tamar Manoukian.
Yerevan My Love (YML) is a regeneration project dedicated to preserving architecturally significant buildings in Yerevan and, by adaptive reuse, to improve the life experience of disabled children, young people and disadvantaged families.
Following the successful charity events at Windsor Castle (2010), Buckingham Palace (2011) and in Yerevan (2013), Yerevan My Love has been working on restoring and revitalizing the oldest neighborhoods of the city.
The proceeds of this year’s fundraising will be dedicated to helping Syrian Armenian children and their educational needs. Thousands of families have escaped the devastating war in Syria and have found refuge in Armenia. Beyond reconstruction, a key dimension of YML is social impact: to improve the education and life experience of children and young people, especially orphans and those who come from disadvantaged communities.