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Arcola Theatre


by Dikran Tchouhadjian / Gerald Papasian

Directed by Gerald Papasian

Armen dreamed of creating the first great theatre company in Constantinople. But on opening night, disaster – his leading actress defects to a rival troupe.

Everything seems over until Gariné arrives on the scene. Armen is inflamed with passion for her voice, but her father detests the theatre. Can she be persuaded to defy him, and to sing on opening night? Will it be Gariné that saves the day?

Dikran Tchouhadjian is considered the first opera composer in the Ottoman Empire. Known in his lifetime as ‘the Armenian Verdi’ and ‘the Oriental Offenbach’, he fused European and Eastern traditions to pioneer a thrilling new musical style.

Since its composition in Turkish as Leblebici Horhor Ağa (Master Hor Hor the Chickpea Vendor) in 1875, Gariné has been adapted three times for film (including by Nazim Hikmet), and has delighted audiences all over Europe and the Middle East.

Now Gerald Papasian directs a semi-staging of his own adaptation, previously performed at the Theatre of Saint-Maur, Paris and the Theatre de L’Odeon, Marseille. Fusing the Armenian and Turkish settings, this rare London production – playing for two nights only – will mark Tchouhadjian’s extraordinary contribution to Turkish and Armenian opera.

Friday and Saturday evening at 7:30pm
£15 / £12 concessions

Tickets are £10 or less with Arcola Passport

Running time to be confirmed.
In Studio 1, seating is allocated.


Danae Eleni


Edward Saklatlava


Katie Grosset


Giles Davies


Leon Berger

Hor Hor

Gerald Papasian


Tami Tal

Chorus Soprano

Amy Spruce

Chorus Soprano/Siranoush

Georgia Mae Bishop

Chorus Mezzo Soprano

Joanna Harries

Chorus Mezzo Soprano

Danilo Antonelli

Chorus Tenor/Sneak 1

David Padua

Chorus Tenor/Sneak 2

Roger Paterson

Chorus Tenor/Khachig

Matthew Tilley

Chorus Baritone

Matthew Thistleton

Chorus Bass/The Gentleman


Dikran Tchouhadjian / Gerald Papasian


Gerald Papasian

Musical Director

Kelvin Thomson
Suitable for
24 Ashwin Street, Dalston, London, E8 3DL
020 7503 1646

© 2017-18 Arcola Theatre.
Arcola Theatre Production Company is a registered charity no.1108613. Registered as a company limited by guarantee in England no.5242988. Registered Office: 24 Ashwin Street, Dalston, London E8 3DL.

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