Maestro Dourian Files Suit Against Government

YEREVAN (combined sources)–Ohan Dourian–former conductor of the Yerevan Opera–has brought suit against the Armenian government and the Armenian culture ministry–protesting his sacking earlier this year. Dourian–who happens to be a French citizen–is demanding $250,000 in compensation.

Ohan Dourian had been appointed the Opera Theater’s conductor for life by former prime minister Vazgen Sarkisian (assassinated in the 1999 parliament shootings).

The conductor’s lawyer Tigran Janoyan said on Friday that the mentioned sum accounts only for the damages suffered by Dourian’s wife–and that the actual amount of damages was much higher.

Janoyan said Dourian had been invited by the Armenian authorities to work in Armenia–however working and living conditions had not been created for him –forcing the conductor to "finally leave Armenia." It was announced that Ohan Dourian will not accept any offers and will not forgive the authorities for insulting him.

The lawyer cited the legal and moral argumentation of the lawsuit. The culture ministry’s dismissal of Dourian–citing his alleged poor state of physical and mental health–does not correspond to the fact that Dourian conducted successful concerts recently in Lebanon and the United States. Janoyan said the argumen’s have damaged Dourian’s worldwide reputation as a renowned conductor.

Dourian’s wife Alice–who was also present at the press conference–said her husband had been persecuted during the Soviet era and was now being persecuted in the independent Republic of Armenia.

It was announced that Dourian will give a farewell concert in Armenia before his departure.

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