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19th Century Playwrights >> Hagop Baronian
Hagop Baronian (1841-1891), 19th Century Armenian Playwright Hagop Baronian was born in 1843 into a poor family in Edirne (Adrianople) and left school early in order to find a job. Moving to Constantinople in 1864 where the first Armenian professional theatre company had been founded just three years earlier, he began acting and writing satires and comedies. Strongly influenced by Molière and Goldoni, he adapted Goldoni’s A Servant of Two Masters as his first play (1865). During these years Baronian also worked at various jobs, taught himself French and Italian, and contributed to periodicals. Although he became well known as a satirist of politics, economic institutions, changes in urban Armenian society and sexual mores through a stream of plays and other writings, he never saw any of his plays staged during his lifetime, in part due to the ban placed on Armenian theatre productions by Sultan Abdulhamid II. Baronian struggled to support his large family by working as an accountant and journalist, serving as the editor and/or publisher of a number of periodicals during the 1870s and 1880s. Honorable Beggars (1880), his best-known work, was written as a novel and later adapted to the stage. Baronian died of tuberculosis in Constantinople in 1891. In subsequent years his plays became very popular.
PLAYS
A SERVANT WITH TWO MASTERS (based on Goldoni’s play), (Erku derov dzaray me), 1865
 
ORIENTAL DENTIST (Atamnabuyzhn Arevelian), 1869
 
HONORABLE BEGGARS (Medzabadiw muratsganner), 1880
 
BROTHER BALTHAZAR (Baghdasar aghpar)
 
FILMS
THE COST OF BEING POLITE (Kaghakavarutyan Vnasnere), 1964, (based on H. Baronian’s story of the same name). Scr./Dir. H. Ghaplanyan
 
BAGHDASAR DIVORCES HIS WIFE (Baghdasare Bazhanvum e Knojits) 1976, Hayfilm Studio, musical comedy (based on H. Baronian’s play Baghdasar Aghpar), 67min. (1854m), color, wide screen, premiere – 16.04.1977. Scr. A.Ayvazyan, Dir. G.Melik-Avagyan,
 
EASTERN DENTIST (Atamnabuyzhn Arevelian) 1981, Hayfilm Studio, musical comedy (based on H.Baronian’s play, financed by Moscow Central TV), 131min. (3624m), color, premiere – 08.05.1982. Scr./Dir. E.Martirosyan.
 


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