The Aram Khachaturian Concert Hall and the Alexander Spendiaryan Opera and Ballet National Academic Theatre both make up one huge building which most locals simply refer to as the Opera building. It is in the heart of Yerevan, right between Cascade and Republic Square.
Northern Avenue is built between Opera and Republic Square. There is a large park around Opera, which contains Swan Lake, Freedom Square, and over a dozen very popular outdoor cafes. The Opera and it's parks are contained between Sayat Nova Street, Terian Street, Tumanian Street and Mashtots Street. The construction of the cafes in the park has been controversial.
All along Mashtots Street, between French Square at Sayat Nova Street to Tumanian Street, are the many billboards advertising upcoming performances at both halls, as well as other venues throughout the city.
In 2004, the Lincy Foundation cleaned the entire building to bring it to its current glamour.
Info from the Soviet Guide to Yerevan
Where Tumanian Street crosses Mashtots Street, stands the Aram Khachaturian Concert Hall/Alexander Spendiaryan Opera and Ballet National Academic Theatre, one of Yerevan's best examples of Soviet architecture. It was designed by Alexander Tamanyan, who, in original fashion, combined two auditoria in one building by constructing one roof over both stages. The Opera and Ballet Theatre holds 1,260 people, and the Concert Hall holds 1,400. The latter was built by Tamanyan's son Georgy, who completed all his father's works after his death. Both halls are shaped like amphitheatres and have excellent accoustics. The architect was awarded a gold medal at the International Exhibition in Paris in 1936.
The repertoire of the opera company, which gave its first performance at the end of 1932, includes works by both classic and modern Armenian, Russian, Soviet and foreign composers. Some of the best are Armenian operas with historical themes, including the first Armenian opera "Arshak II", written in 1868 by Tigran Chukhadzhyan. It is set in the fourth century, when Armenia, divided between Byzantium and Persia, fought persistently for her independence. Another opera, "David-bek" by Armen Tigranyan, describes the Armenian people's liberation struggle against foreign invaders at the beginning of the eighteenth century, and their age-old friendship with the Russian and Georgian peoples.
Statues to two prominent representatives of Armenian culture stand in the spacious square in front of the theatre: to the left is the writer and public figure Hovhannes Tumanyan (1869-1923), sculpted by Ara Sarkisyan, and to the right, composer Alexander Spendiarov (1871-1928).
View of the Aram Khachaturian Concert Hall and French Square