Just like music...
I'm sorry to report that I didn't really enjoy Mozart's Magic Flute. It's my understanding that he was forced to write this Opera in German and it wasn't one of his favorites. With my limited exposure to Opera I can already tell I'm not into German operas. It just doesn't work in my opinion. I had the opportunity to see La Traviatta in Italy and it flowed and sounded beautiful. I've seen a number of Armenian Operas like Anoush and Zvart and obviously those sounded amazing to me as well. I remember a few years ago when my cousin was graduating from the San Fransisco Conservatory of Music we went to her Master's Concert and she sang numerous pieces and after some Italian selections that I enjoyed very much, she ended with some English and German songs which I didn't like as much. I was disappointed that she ended on that note. Then, when she came out to perform her encore, she began singing an Armenian song and the passion and comfort with which she belted that song out was so overwhelming, that she managed to move me to tears! Just like I prefer hearing my cousin sing in Italian and Armenian I can now also say I've heard Isabella sing in Italian and German and I enjoyed the Italian more.
The way the program was laid out the first half of the evening was more cultural and classical and the second half more pop with the likes of Andy and Sako. In my opinion those two performers detracted from the rest of the artists. Their styles were so different that they just didn't make sense in the lineup. If there were more pop artists like Arsen Safaryan and Hasmik Karapetyan maybe it would have worked better.
It was my first time seeing Andy perform live and my first time ever seeing/hearing Sako. I can't say I liked Sako's music it just wasn't up my alley. When Andy came out...WOW! What can I say? I wasn't prepared...No one told me Andy has fashioned himself in the image of Gene Simmons! I was speechless! He was sporting the same exact hairstyle as Gene Simmons! I found it hilarious that his guitarist (not the one with the ruby red keytaur, the other one) was sporting a KISS shirt! The audeince was going nuts over him! Personally, I find his nazaly voice annoying and yet his striking resemblence to the likes of Gene Simmons fascinated me and I couldn't tear my eyes away from him. I guess I shouldn't be too shocked though since I do have a thing for Harout Pamboukjian circa 1979 when he was sporting a similar hairdo (but still that was the 70's man! It fit back then!) I felt it was inappropriate of Andy to alter the song "Yerevani siroun aghcheek" by putting his own spin on it and making it "Barsgastani siroun aghcheek" ummm... the evening was called "Spirit of Armenia" not "Spirit of Iran" and what was even sadder to me was the audience actually began cheering and going crazy when he did that. It was in poor taste.
In conclusion, the music wasn't everything I expected it to be, since I would have loved to hear more Sayat Nova or familiar classics like "Sari Siroun Yar" or "Ov too Keghetseeg" but alas I can't have it all my way = )I did feel that the Hollywood bowl looked breath taking with the Armenian eternity symbol projected on to it and when the stage was lit up with red, blue, orange lights I thought the Bowl was looking quite divine!