Modified Turkish delight: Tchouhadjian’s Gariné unveiled at Grimeborn

Tchouhadjian: Gariné ***

Grimeborn Festival, Arcola Theatre, 14th August 2015

Last night, Glyndebourne presented Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serailat the Proms, a tale of intrigue in a Turkish harem. At Grimeborn Festival, a grungy, hip East End alternative, we had the genuine article: Gariné, an opera buffa by Turkish/Armenian composer Dikran Tchouhadjian, first staged in 1875. Various claims have been made about the composer, such as “the Armenian Verdi” and “the Ottoman Offenbach”, but Tchouhadjian’s music – especially in English translation – has the unfortunate habit of sounding like a Constantinopolitan Arthur Sullivan, with a few oriental curlicues and minor harmonic passages thrown in.

Danae Eleni (Gariné) and Leon Berger (Hor Hor) © Robert Workman

Danae Eleni (Gariné) and Leon Berger (Hor Hor)
© Robert Workman

Read the full review on Bachtrack.

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