The Armenian composer Armen Tigranyan (1879–1950) was born in Alexandropol (modern Gyumri) in the region of Eastern Armenia that was then part of the Russian Empire. He was educated in Tiflis/Tbilisi, Georgia, and entered its musical conservatory in 1887. He was moved to write an opera based on Hovhannēs T‘oumanyan’s poem Anush soon after he first read it. He began his work in 1904 and completed it in 1908. The opera now known and loved by Armenians in the Republic and throughout the Diaspora underwent several revisions before reaching its present shape. Deeply imbued with the folk traditions of Armenian music, its score is nonetheless thoroughly original. This piano-vocal score is opened to the duet between Anush and her lover Saro in act IV.