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Armenian apricot stone becomes a tree

18 May 2010 at 12:53 CEST

The Armenian entry for the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest will feature one of the national symbols of Armenia: an apricot. It is not only part of many myths and legends, but it also gave the colour to the lower stripe of the Armenian flag. On stage, an apricot stone was placed behind Eva, and there was also an artificial waterfall. During the performance, a dancer approached the waterfall with a vase and then watered the apricot stone. It then opened up and made a small apricot tree appear, which kept growing till the end of the stage act.

Armenia will be setting a new record in this year's Eurovision Song Contest: Eva Rivas will be accompanied on stage by Jivan Gasparyan, a 83-year-old musician - he will be the oldest ever person to feature in an Eurovision Song Contest performance. He will be seated on a stone, playing a duduk, a traditional Armenian flute. Apart from him, Eva has three female backing vocalists to support her.

The tall Armenian singer performed in casual clothes today, but she showed her dress for the Semi-Final to the cameras - it will be a long dress in the colour of apricots. The stage was also lit in orange colour, and it was surrounded by dark curtains. Smoke effects were used, fitting the soft and mystic atmosphere of the song. In the last run of the rehearsal, the pyrotechnical effects were also rehearsed. They consisted of single flames appearing along the edges of the stage.


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"Created within just 30 minutes, directly from the heart"

In the press conference, the Head of the Armenian Delegation, Diana Mnatsakanyan, stated that she was very happy with the first rehearsal and with the organisation on site in Oslo. When she was asked about the meaning of her song, Eva Rivas explained that it is about the love of one's motherland, but that it was not only directed to Armenians, but rather to all diasporas in the whole world. It tells the story of herself and the lyricist of the song, Karen Kavaleryan, who have both grown up outside of Armenia and only returned there quite recently. Eva told the press that the song "was created within just 30 minutes, and it came directly from the heart."

The backing vocalists, Gor, Mariam and Tigran, were also introduced to the press, and they presented a short excerpt of Apricot Stone together with Eva Rivas. A journalist asked Eva to tell more about the songs she recorded which were written by the famous artist Sayat Nova, and she replied that his songs were "saint" to the people of Armenia, as he wrote them when his heart was bleeding because he could not be with the woman he loved. The songs had a deep meaning and one must read between the lines in order to understand the lyrics, she added.

As Eva Rivas had done a very unusual promotional tour prior to the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest, which included the planting of apricot trees all over Europe, she was asked to tell more about it. She said that the trees she planted were already growing fast, and that she would also plant one in Norway during her stay here.

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Between 1996-2004, Eva used to be a soloist of one of the most famous ensembles in Rostov called Arevik. As a member of the aforementioned choir she sang both classical and variety songs, as well as Russian and foreign compositions. As a solo singer, Eva was repeatedly a laureate in different contests and compositions. Likewise, she gained the title of Vice-Miss of the Caucasus in Yerevan. The same year, during the annual ceremony Armenian Song of the Year , she won the first prize. In 2008, Eva started a cooperation with the Armenian Production producing centre and is currently busy recording a full CD. Last year, Eva shot a video clip of the song Tamam Ashkharh made by Bookhadir Yuldeshev, a director of a great number of foreign video-clips and a series of films. The process of shooting took place in Armenia, Afghanistan, Algeria and Uzbekistan for 17 days. The clip gained wide acclaim both within Armenia as well as abroad.