The idea of forming an Armenian operatic group was conceived by Aris Nadirian, a professional opera singer and choirmaster of the St. Yeghiche Armenian church in London. The principal aim was to introduce the local community to Armenian opera, a musical art form not previously staged in the UK, and to raise awareness of the many enchanting folk melodies. Hence "London Armenian Opera", LAO, was born in September 2011.
We acquired charity status in June 2013.
The LAO chorus consists of approximately 20 voluntary members who are drawn from the local community, and who normally sing in 4 part harmony. Our principal solo singers, orchestra players, conductor and dancers are drawn from a select group of highly talented professionals and musical students.
We aim to perform one show a year, and the chorus meets one evening per week for regular rehearsals at our West London venues. Participating soloists, instrumentalists and dancers join the chorus for rehearsals when called upon. Full rehearsals necessarily become more frequent as we approach the performance dates.
The responsibilities for running the day to day affairs of LAO are shared by six members on the committee, each of whom performs multiple roles. They are supported by members from the chorus and many outside volunteers who carry out the vital ancillary and specialised functions, such as costume design, promotional material design, carpentry, etc.