Armenian National Opera to Perform ‘Carmen’ in Dubai

Scenes from the Production

DUBAI–The Dubai Opera announced that The Armenian National Academic Theatre Opera and Orchestra is set to bring two opera favorites, Carmen and The Magic Flute, to the Dubai Opera stage in September 2018.

The first of the productions, Carmen, directed by Naire Stepanyan, will be performed over three consecutive nights on September 6-8, 2018. Carmen tells the tragic tale of Don José, who falls hopelessly in love with femme fatale, Carmen. José loses Carmen’s love to the matador, Escamillo, only to end in José killing her in a jealous rage. The Opening night Star studded cast includes Karine Babadjanian as Carmen and Hovanes Ayvazyan as Don Jose, Meri Movsessyan as Michaela and Gevork Hagopyan as the strapping Toreodor, Escamillio, along with other great soloists and the renowned chorus of the Armenian National Opera House.

Written by French composer Georges Bizet, Carmen premiered in Paris in 1875 after suffering negative reviews. Disconsolately, Bizet died during the preliminary performances, never to come to know that Carmen would rightly become one of the most renowned and popular operas of all time.

Audiences at Dubai Opera can expect spectacular costumes designed by Cristine Avetisian and awe-inspiring set designs by Avetis Barseghian to augment the truly brilliant performance of Carmen, which will be performed in French with English surtitles. Carmen will be conducted by American conductor Christopher Ocasek.

The second production, The Magic Flute, by one of the most celebrated composers of all time, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, will debut the following week, also for three consecutive nights on September 13-15, 2018.

The Magic Flute is a tale which illustrates the resplendent power of love, art and music, transporting audiences into a wonderful fantastical realm. The Opera tells the story of Tamino, a young hero, sent on a quest by the Queen of Night to rescue her daughter, Pamina, from the wicked wizard, Sarastro. Full of beautiful melodies and enchanting characters, Mozart’s beloved and final opera will be performed in German with English surtitles.

“Words are not enough to describe the enthusiasm we all feel as we prepare for our performances of Carmen and The Magic Flute on the prestigious stage of the Dubai Opera,” said Constantine Orbelian, Artistic and General Director of the Yerevan Opera House. “Together with our renowned soloists, and our wonderful musicians, chorus, and designers, I am absolutely delighted to be representing my eternal homeland, Armenia, in Dubai, through the universal language of opera. And I am all the more gratified as our performances at the Dubai Opera will be a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United Arab Emirates and the Republic of Armenia.

“Today, I am as ever proud of the marvelous talents and professionalism of each and every member of the Yerevan Opera House, and I feel so very honored for the privilege of leading such an iconic institution,” Maestro Orbelian continued. “Finally, I would like to convey my very special thanks and gratitude to Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth, and Social Development of the UAE, for his invaluable support in helping organize and facilitate our concerts in Dubai. It will be our distinct joy to present the artistry of Armenian opera to the appreciative audiences of this great city.”

Audiences will be thrilled by the beautiful, intricately detailed costumes designed by world famous designer Alberto Spazzi, and magnificent set design by internationally renowned Italian opera Director Paolo Miccichè, who also serves as the director of The Armenian National Academic Theatre Opera and Orchestra’s rendition of The Magic Flute. The superb cast will include award winning tenor Liparit Avetisyan, International prize winner Julietta Aleksanyan, soprano Alina Pekhlivanian along with soloists of the Armenian opera company.

Tickets for Carmen and The Magic Flute are available at with prices starting from AED 350, and for opera lovers, there is the chance to save even more and see both operas with a buy four tickets for the price of three package.

Jasper Hope, Chief Executive at Dubai Opera, commented: “In Bizet’s Carmen and Mozart’s Magic Flute, Dubai audiences can enjoy two of the greatest operas ever written this September. Carmen is synonymous with passion and fiery tempers whilst the Magic Flute offers audiences utterly beautiful music set around a comic fairy tale – two wonderful autumn treats for everyone to enjoy.

For more information and ticket purchase, please visit

6th Sept. Carmen – Performance at 8pm
7th Sept. Carmen – Performance at 8pm
8th Sept. Carmen – Performance at 4pm
13th Sept. The Magic Flute – Performance at 8pm
14th Sept. The Magic Flute – Performance at 8pm
15th Sept. The Magic Flute – Performance at 4pm


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  1. sona hamalian said:

    I am amazed at the lack of knowledge people have. In the middle of WW 2, there was a complete and total mobilization of the men in the USSR under the age of 50. The People’s Commissar of Culture, Lunacharasky came to Stalin and convinced him that destroying the cultural institutions in the country can be done overnight by drafting all of the musicians (Conservatory professors, orchestra musicians, soloists, opera singers, dancers etc….) but, what will the country do AFTER the war is over… wait 20 years for a new crop of musicians to come up to staff the symphony orchestras and opera houses? So, Stalin sent the Moscow Conservatory to Tashkent and the Bolshoi to Almaty and the Leningrad Conservatory and Ballet school and all of the major cultural institutions in the western part of Russia to Siberia to continue their work. At the end of the war, everyone returned and continued performances at the Bolshoi and Mariinsky Theater as if nothing ever happened.
    Talk about long-term planning…
    Unfortunately, this kind of ignorance filters down to the masses…