Some may think that The Lord of the Rings was dubbed in Armenian, but it is the name of symphonic opus that was written to remember and commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide by the Turkish Ottoman Empire of 1915. It is also the name of an “indie” film that documented the course of this opus and the history of the composer Dan Yessian, who also directed the film. I first became aware of Dan Yessian from the music he wrote for a locally produced television program in Detroit called Hot Fudge that my children would watch and enjoy; it was a mix of music, comedy and satire geared for the afternoon school crowd. Dan Yessian has been famous in Detroit and nationally for the writing of commercial jingles, and this was a real stretch for him to write a symphony and he did himself proud with his success. The premier of the film was during the Freep Film Festival organized by one of the two Detroit daily newspapers and the Detroit Free Press is probably more famous, because one of their most famous former employees was totally fictitious and that would be Lou Grant from the Mary Tyler Moore Show and later Lou Grant. The film was to be shown twice during the week of the film festival and we had bought tickets for the second showing, and alas the theater that was to show the film had technical problems, so we ended up seeing the premier.
The premier showing ended up at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial, a beautiful venue that we have been to for weddings and parties, but we were not even aware that they had an auditorium. The auditorium is called the Patriot Theater, a fitting name for the War Memorial, but an odd choice for the Detroit Free Press as patriotism is not part of the ethos of their editorial staff, as far as I am concerned. The Patriot Theater was just an amazing room and listening to the music performed by the Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra in Armenia there was just perfect. The acoustics of the room were wonderful and even after the film, there was some discussions and a musical piece by violinist Sonia Lee and there really was not a need for the microphones as even the questions from the crowd were heard easily. The Patriot Theater had both traditional seating and then there were several sections that had love seats and coffee tables, and my Bride and I found a perfect “high top” table for two to watch the film.
The Patriot Theater had a concession stand in the lobby where one could get popcorn and candy and soft drinks. One could also buy, by the glass or the bottle several different wines and not the commercial institutional catering hall brands, because Duckhorn immediately caught my eye. We would have probably bought a bottle of Duckhorn, but since we were going out to a new restaurant after the show, we decided to get a couple of splits of bubbly for a more festive setting. We had the Domaine Chandon Rosé California NV and it was a delightful wine for a matinee performance. Domaine Chandon was the first Champagne house to arrive in Napa Valley and they make the wines in the traditional method. This wine like all non-vintage “champagne” is made from juice from several vintages to be blended to maintain the house taste. This particular wine is mostly Chardonnay, but also Pinot Meunier and a splash of Pinot Noir for the dosage at the end which is also where the pink color comes from. It was semi-sweet and not a bone-dry finish and it was fun with popcorn, but of course everything is better with some bubbles.