REFLECTIONS ON THE YEREVAN OPERA FEST

A city is wealthy not only with its beautiful buildings, museums, galleries but also with international festivals, which are the apogee of spiritual life and provethe majesty of art. In our case, they also play the role of a tonometer, since they compare what we have now, of what quality it is, where we are and what directions to go. The festivals are not only a source of aesthetic satisfaction. They also have a huge role in cognition and education.

One of such festivals was the First international Yerevan opera festival, devoted to the famous singer GeghamGrigoryan, held at the end of April.

The Artistic Director of the festival was Honored Artist ofRussian Federation Constantine Orbelian, who was also the conductor of two festival concerts. Two concerts with famous programs were introduced with high level of art performance while such performances are rare occasions to enjoy on our stage. Another performance was the “La Traviata” opera by G. Verdi, which was directed by invited conductor Chris Russman (Great Britain). In the closing performance of the festival soprano Hasmik Torosyan, tenor LiparitAvetisyan and baritone Arnold Qocharyan performed.

Generally, it is very difficult to show all the peculiarities of any character in arias, ariosos, cavatine, monologs and in general all small pieces separated from dramas. It is necessary to have the skills of acting and singing, mimicry, action, shades, features, mastership of the most soft changes in emotional world, ability to smoothly shift from singing to conversational tone and high culture.Our guests such as famous artist Barbara Frittoli (who held very educational open master classes), Hasmik Grigoryan, RodionPogossov, George Gagnidze, Stephen Costello had all these characteristics. They managed to create a warm contact full of humor with the audience through their behavior. The audience also felt the atmosphere, appreciated it and accepted each performance with pleasure, by giving long lasting applauses and “bravo”-s expressing their admiration. The concerts were very educational and it was very pleasing to see vocal teachers, students and experienced artists in the audience.

We should hope, that the festival will be an annual event, will last two to three weeks and will include a few concerts and performances with partnership of our and foreign singers. Master classes and professional discussions constitute an important part of the festivals, and they will help our young singers for the performance maturity and professional improvements. The festival will give a new energy and fresh atmosphere to our theater artists and music loving audience. Live connections with the singers performing on the best stages of the world will help to fill our hearts with happiness and to live the unique joy.

I have reflected on the concerts and performances and came to the conclusions thatwe nowadays have six to seven international level singers in our opera theater. The number will increase if we could work with new young cadres, if they have sufficient stage time and necessary workload. The presence of impresarios during the festivals will contribute to their recognition and the opportunity to have tour concerts in near future.

All the guests were admired by Armenia, Opera Theater, warmth of people, and the warm welcome of the audience. Our compatriot RodionPogossov was the first time in Armenia, and Barbara Frittoli will visit Armenia again in December, to have master classes for ten days.

Lyrical Intermezzo:

The participationin this festival of compatriot conductors, singers, directors, living abroad, will be magnificent, since as the festival carries an international character now it would carry a pan-Armenian spirit then, too. Compatriot artists have a huge willingness to create and work in their motherland. Every festival can be devoted to one of the famous Armenian artists. Probably, the time of the festival should be changed, according to climate conditions, intensity of tourism, the sight of the city and etc. Maybe at the end of May or at the beginning of June when it is not hot much, or at the end of September till the beginning of October, during the velvet season, when all Armenia is in beautiful colors, when foreign theaters are in vacation and the concert schedules of singers are lighter. Or maybe opening or closing the theatrical seasonwith a festival.

Special thanks to the First Lady Rita Sargsyan for initiating the brilliant idea to invite ConstantineOrbelian and to organize it, to sponsor the festival and overall for helping the Opera Theater for making assertive decision.

Thanks to minister of Culture Armen Amiryan for supporting the organization of the festival.

Thanks to foreign famous artists and compatriots living abroad for taking part in the festival.

Thanks to the symphonic orchestra of the Theatre and Armenian Youth State Orchestra, artistic director and chief conductor – S. Smbatyan.

Thanks to the Artistic Director, acting director ConstantineOrbelian, for the wonderful idea and for fulfilling it. ConstantineOrbelian has many such similar helpful ideas and he will gradually fulfill them, by including the Armenian regions, which is one of his dreams.

During the mid-May, along with Hasmik Grigoryan, who has a unique voice of great rangereaching from mezzo-soprano to coloratura soprano, with rich sound and with all virtual techniques in all registers, anew CD formed of opera arias will be recorded. All the costs will be covered by the government of Lithuania. It is planned to record moreCDs with the finance of the same theater.

 

 

ZavenVardanyan

Honored artist, conductor