For immediate release evocations of armenia

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Actor Nora Armani and cellist David Bakamjian in a new program
at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

New York, October 31st, 2008: A monumental 12th-century Khatchkar (stone cross) on special long-term loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art from the State History Museum of Armenia in Yerevan is the occasion for an afternoon of Armenian art and culture within the framework of Sunday at the Met program at the Musem on November 23rd 2008.
Actor Nora Armani and cellist David Bakamjian come together for this event with a specially conceived performance entitled Evocations of Armenia taking us on a cultural journey through the spirit of Armenia, in the company of national poets, composers, folk songs and sacred chants.
The story of the enchanted Dove Abbey by Hovhannes Toumanyan (one of the greatest poets of Armenia and poet par excellence from Lori – where the Khatchkar comes from), the music of Komitas and Alan Hovhaness, the sacred chants of Sharagans, the legend of Akhtamar and other favorites highlight this performance featuring solo cello and spoken word.

Actor Nora Armani has an international list of theatre and film credits. Her self-penned award-winning performances include: On the Couch with Nora Armani (now on DVD), Sojourn At Ararat (with Gerald Papasian) (now on CD), Nannto Nannto and Snowflakes in April and have toured internationally in English and French at such venues as the Sydney Opera House, the Hirshhorn Museum, the Cairo Opera House, the Riverside Studios (London), La Cirée National Theatre in Marseilles and the Sundukyan National Theatre of Armenia. Film/TV work: TV (Casualty-BBC, Al Asdiquaa-Egypt TV), Film (The Doors of Denis, Santa Claus in Baghdad, Voisins Voisines, The New Eve, Last Station, Deadline in Seven Days, Haifa and Labyrinth- for which she has won the Best Actress award in Armenia) and Stage (The Lover, Beyond the Veil, La Fête Virile, Plebeians Rehearse...). Nora Armani has a B.A. in English and Sociology from AUC (The American University in Cairo), and an M.Sc. from LSE (Univ. of London). Her theatre training includes: RADA and UCLA, in addition to a number of noteworthy master workshops with Yoshi Oyda, Simon MacBurney, Irina Brook and Ariane Mnouchkine (Théâtre du Soleil). Nora is an Honorary Member of the National Theatre of Armenia and performs in 6 languages.

Cellist David Bakamjian performs regularly as a recitalist, chamber player, recording artist and as a member of several New York area ensembles. He has performed at New York 's premiere concert halls, appeared several times on National Public Radio and WQXR (NY), and was a winner or finalist in four international chamber music competitions. He has appeared as soloist with the Allentown Symphony, Philharmonia Virtuosi, the Beijing Symphony, the Bachanalia Festival Orchestra, and the Lehigh University Symphony Orchestra. He performs with the American Symphony Orchestra and is principal cellist of the Berkshire Opera and the New York Grand Opera. Mr. Bakamjian is a founding member of Brooklyn Baroque (flute, cello and harpsichord) of critical acclaim by the American Record Guide. He also performs on baroque cello with Concert Royal, the American Classical Orchestra, Gotham Chamber Opera and the Long Island Baroque Ensemble.
The 12th-century Khatchkar- a 2,000-pound, nearly 8-foot-tall block of basalt, carved on its surface with symbols of the four evangelists, a massive cross, small birds at fountains, and surrounding patterns of interlacing - is now on display in the Mary and Michael Jaharis Galleries for Byzantine art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. It is on special long-term loan from the State History Museum of Armenia in Yerevan.

The special Sunday at the Met afternoon composed of lectures on the importance of Armenian medieval art and culture will take place on Sunday, November 23, 2008 starting at 1:30 pm with a lecture on Early Medieval Armenian History, by Nina GArsoian, Gevork Avedissian Professor Emerita of Armenian History and Civilization, Columbia University, and director of Revue des etudes armeniennes followed at 2:00 pm by a lecture on Icons in Early Armenia by Thomas F. Mathews, John Langloth Loeb Professor Emeritus of the History of Art, Institute of Fine Arts, NYU, and at 2.30 pm by a lecture on Pious Ancestry and the Decorative Programs of the Church of Holy Cross at Aght’amar by Lynn A. Jones, assistant professor, Department of Art History, Florida Stare University. The performance of Evocations of Armenia will follow the lectures at 3.00pm.

This Sundays at the Met program is made possible by the Hagop Kevorkian Fund.
All programs are free with Museum admission; Programs occur in The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY
For further information please call (212) 396- 5460 or contact
For information concerning the performance or to contact Nora Armani and David Bakamjian call (212) 253 2022 or email:

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