On this site, you can can find the following items listed in the menu top right: information on the repertoire, schedule or biography of the Armenian soprano – or take a look at photographs where you will find a small gallery displaying private portraits and a couple of pictures from various productions! There is also a variety of reviews (in six different languages) on the different roles that form the widespread repertoire of the versatile singer. For professional contact information, please view the end of this site! - And here you can hear her voice:
Giacomo Puccini: Vissi d'arte (Tosca)
(From a life recording in Beirut with the
National Symphony Orchestra of Lebanon,
conductor: Harout Fazlian)
Triumphant: "Norma" at the Met
It's the fourth season, the Armenian soprano has joined the Metropolitan Opera. This time, it wasn't the Ethiopian slave in Verdi's opera "Aida" which she has interpreted to much acclaim at Lincoln Center so far; this time, it was the Druid priestress - the peak of Bel canto, "Norma". Hasmik Papian sang the opening night of the revival of a production of John Copley, conducted by Maurizio Benini, on November 12, followed by three more performances on November 16, 19 and 23 - all of them to sensational acclaim from packed houses. The cast included Dolora Zajick as Adalgisa, Franco Farina as Pollione and Vitalij Kowaljow as Oroveso. Here are some praises from the press:
Priestess on a high note
The Armenian Hasmik Papian, singing her first Norma here, has an interesting voice, well-colored dramatically. She made as convincing a Norma as can be made of this Druid high priestess.
(The New York Post)
Ms. Papian is able to make clarion sounds and is comfortable singing high notes. She is also physically credible as a striking woman and mother.
(The New York Times)
In the final furious duet with Pollione gleaming metal furled from her throat, displaying a high register and command of it.
Hasmik Papian, a soprano from Armenia, did some admirable things in "Casta diva" – for example, a lovely diminuendo at the end. She gave an excellent demonstration of bel canto singing. And she ended the opera with a superb high B. Norma is a very hard role, and Ms. Papian acquitted herself with honor. In addition to which – for those who value this kind of thing – she looked beautiful. The Met's current "Norma" is very much worth seeing, and appreciating.
(New York Sun)
Ms Papian has a good-sized, bright voice and a good sense of the role’s complexities. She has little trouble with high notes. And she’s attractive. The long final scene was enormously effective – mesmerizingly sad, beautifully sung.
Nella recita dello scorso lunedì, la protagonista del quartetto di cantanti è stata il soprano Hasmik Papian, ben nota per aver più volte interpretato il difficile ruolo della sacerdotessa e, dotata di una tecnica belcantistica, ha superato se stessa nella celebre cavatina della "Casta Diva" e nel trasmettere un accento elegiaco che sfocia nel canto di "Deh, non volerli vittime" del finale. Al suo fianco una Adalgisa per più versi esemplare come il mezzosoprano Dolora Zajick, una veterana di successo in questo ruolo, si è distinta per un espressivo fraseggio nel duetto "Mira o Norma", in cui le voci delle due eroine, si fondano con accurati accenti.
Also look at the "Review"-page for two longer reviews - stating, among others: "one of the most exciting and excellent performances of an opera I have heard... This is an essential listen for anyone who wants to hear what a great bel canto opera should sound like!"
Debut at Grand Theatre del Liceu, Barcelona,
Forza del destino in Essen
Right after her role debut as Norma at the Met, Hasmik Papian has sung her house debut at Barcelona's prestigious Grand Theatre del Liceu starring in the title role of Verdi's "Aida". Dates of performance were November 26 and 29, 2007, upcoming are two more performances on January 10 and 15, 2008. The Conductor was Daniele Calligari. - Afterwards, Hasmik Papian has returned to Aaltotheater Essen where she has sung Tosca, Aida and Leonora in "Il Trovatore" in previous seasons. This time, she sang Leonora di Varga in Verdi's "La forza del destino" in a production by Dietrich Hilsdorf, conducted by general manager Stefan Soltesz. Performance dates: December 5, 21 and 28, 2007, and January 5, 2008.
Start of the Season: "Attila" in Amsterdam
Hasmik Papian has started the new season as Odabella in Verdi's early opera "Attila" (in concert version). The performance with the Radio Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra took place at the prestigious Concertgebouw in Amsterdam on Saturday, September 8th, at 2 pm. First concert of the season in the famous serious of "Saturday Matinees", the performance was also broadcast live on the Dutch Radio NPS. Ezio was sung by Paolo Gavanelli, Foresto by Massimiliano Pisapia and the title role by Ildar Abdrazakov. The conductor was Jaap van Zweden. The Armenian soprano sang her first Odabella back in 1997 at the Ravenna Festival and has appeared in the role since, among others, at Opernhaus Zurich and Staatstheater Karlsruhe.
Verdi-Requiem in Mexico
Next is a tour through four cities of Mexico with the Asturias Orchestra in the presence of the president of honour of the orchestra, HRM Don Felipe de Borbón, Prince of Spain. Hasmik Papian will interpret the soprano part in Giuseppe Verdi's Messa di Requiem. The concerts will take place in Monterrey (TEC Forum Universal dellas Culturas, 27. 9.), Guadalajara (Teatro Degollado, 30. 9.), Mexico City (Palacio Bellas Artes, 2. 10.) and Puebla (Espacio Siglo XXI, 3. 10.); the conductor is Maximiano Valdés.
New DVD-release: The Queen of Spades
A new DVD has just been released by TDK with Hasmik Papian as Lisa in Tchaikovsky's opera "The Queen of Spades". The production from the National Opera of Paris La Bastille was staged by Russian director Lev Dodin and conducted by Gennadi Rozhdestvensky. Vladimir Galouzine sings the title role.
Here is what DigitalVD wrote about this "Highlight of the Month":
Russian Tenor Vladimir Galouzine fully meets the challenge of this demanding role both as a singer and as an actor with his outstanding talent. His passionate acting attracts from the first minute. At his side, Armenian soprano Hasmik Papian as Lisa brings the drama and suffering of the young girl, fallen in love, alive. Lev Dodin’s staging casts a new light on the story. The filming captures the claustrophobic stage decoration and uses frequent close ups to highlight the excellent quality of the cast, also in terms of their acting. This DVD goes beyond a mere rendition of what the theatregoer experiences – perfect for an opera show on the screen of your TV at home.
CD "Hommage à Komitas" nominated for
The Armenian Music Award 2007
In September 2006, the German independent label audite has published an SACD with 36 Armenian and German songs of Komitas (1869-1935), entitled ”Hommage à Komitas“. Hasmik Papian is accompanied by Vardan Mamikonan, piano. Now, the CD has been nominated for The Armenian Music Award 2007 in the category "Best Classical Album". The decision of the jury is going to be announced during this year's gala, which is going to be held in Los Angeles on November 23.
You can find an English Press Information here: Download pdf-file
Alongside 26 Armenian Lieder altogether, the CD also contains nine Lieder to texts by German poets (including Goethe, Uhland and Lenau) set by Komitas during his period of study in Berlin - recorded here for the first time. The booklet includes the complete Lied texts in Armenian, German, English and French, as well as a detailed text on the life and work of Komitas, written by Claude Mutafian.
Just some weeks after its release, this CD has already been appointed the Supersonic Award of the music magazine pizzicato.
Hasmik Papian has been presenting the works of Komitas regularly in her recitals – at places like London’s Wigmore Hall, Vienna's Musikverein, Salle Gaveau of Paris, in Brussels, Munich, Washington, Beirut and Cairo among others. The young Armenian pianist Vardan Mamikonian performs regularly in renowned international concert halls such as Carnegie Hall, the Herkulessaal in Munich and the Tonhalle Zurich.
As a Hybrid-CD, this release plays on all CD and Super Audio CD-players. If your local distributor does not have this SACD on sale, you can order it directly at audite.
News from Last Season:
Recitals in Paris, London and Vienna
Hasmik Papian has appeared in a solo-recital in the prestigious Salle Gaveau, Paris, together with pianist Vardan Mamikonian on March 12, 2007. The concert which was part of the series Les Concerts Parisiens marked the soprano's personal contribution to the "Year of Armenia in France". The program contained exclusively works of Armenian composers such as Komitas, Berberian, Kanachian, Mirsoian, Terterian and Mansurian and was acclaimed by standing ovations.
Another solo-recital took place on April 12, 2007 at London's Wigmore Hall. Again, Vardan Mamikonian was her partner on the piano. This time, Armenian composers interchanged with European composers such as Franz Schubert and Giuseppe Verdi. Another acclaimed Armenian artist took part in the concert: young violiner Sergey Khachatryan (accompanied by his sister Lusine) who won the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels in 2005.
The three world famous Armenian artists appeared again in a joint concert on April 20, 2007, at Musikverein Vienna (Magna Auditorium). Once more, European and Armenian composers were presented. This concert was under the tutelage of the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia in Austria. The concert commemorating the Armenian Genocide of 1915 was attended by a great number of high officials of the diplomatic corps of Vienna as well as many members of the Armenian community of Austria and ended as a huge success for all three artists. It was organized by the Austro-Armenian Cultural Society and sponsored by the Community of the Apostolic Armenian Church of Austria.
"Nabucco" in Nice, France
In May 2007, Hasmik Papian has made a return to Opéra de Nice as Abigaille in Verdi's opera "Nabucco". She had made her debut with Opéra de Nice in this part back in 1997 and returned twice since, singing Verdi's Requiem and Amelia in Verdi's "Simon Boccanegra". This time, a new production of "Nabucco" staged by Belgian director Claire Servais was conducted by Philippe Auguin. The title role was sung by Franck Ferrari. "Nabucco" opened on May 25, followed by three more performances on May 27, 29 and 31. The premiere was greeted as "best production of the season" and earned a huge success from the audience who covered Hasmik with roses for her Abigaille at the final curtain call.
Return to Montpellier as Norma
Hasmik Papian has appeared once again in the South of France: On June 7th, she sang the title role during the opening night of Bellini's "Norma" at the National Opera of Montpellier, replacing Susan Neves at the shortest notice. Four more performances followed on June 10, 12, 15 and 17. Here is what the French newspaper Midi libre wrote:
View bigger image (photo: Marc Ginot)
Norma: And Again Casta Diva
Has Answered the Prayers
Hasmik Papian is certainly a specialist for the role. But this time she has been summoned at such short notice to replace Susan Neves who was ill, that some inaccuracies were likely to be the result. Vain fears: Ms. Papian is a Norma of great allure. And she disposes of some notable piani like Chinese porcelain, as well as a legato save from being shaken by any difficulty whatsoever. Even better: She seems to have been singing together with mezzo soprano Nancy Fabiola Herrera all her live. So we will cherish some moving remembrances of the admirable duet in the second tableau. A triumph: chaste goddess, once more you have heard our prayer.
The production of Paul-Emile Fourny was conducted by Jean-Yves Ossonce. Hasmik Papian has made her much acclaimed debut at Opéra de Montpellier back in 1998 as Elvira in Verdi's "Ernani".
Her next appearances as Norma are scheduled for the Met in New York City (November 2007), Avignon in 2008 and Monte Carlo in 2009.
Hasmik Papian as Norma on DVD
Also in September 2006, a new DVD has been released on the British label Opus Arte:
The German magazin Opernwelt wrote in its April 2007-issue: "Hasmik Papian is vocally first class."
This 2 disc-release offers a live-recording of the production staged by Guy Joosten and conducted by Julian Reynolds that opened in April 2005 at The Netherland's Opera in Amsterdam, staring Hasmik Papian in the title role, Hugh Smith as Pollione, Irini Tsirakidis as Adalgisa and Giorgio Giuseppini as Oroveso. It contains an illustrated Synopsis & Cast Gallery as well as an introduction, including interviews with principal members of the cast and the artistic team. Subtitles are available in English, French, German, Spanish, Dutch and Italian. The DVD in DTS Surround / LPCM Stereo is on sale for 29.99 £ via internet, ordering number OP 0959D. Hasmik Papian has earned rave reviews for her appearance as Norma in Amsterdam:
Thrilling Norma in Amsterdam
What a show she gave us. She had all the notes for this incredibly difficult role, and she sang them bravely and convincingly. She could send out bravura thrills when needed but was also capable of great delicacy and subtlety. Her quiet legato singing in the scene when she was contemplating the murder of her children was spell-binding. This was a genuine Norma: a performance to treasure.
www.ballet.co.uk, 29. March 2005
On the British Website New Classics, the DVD is praised with the following words:
This double DVD set features a live recording from 2005 of Guy Joosten’s ingenious and spectacular production of this timeless drama in which Norma is the archetypal successful woman struggling to retain her dominant but vulnerable position. Julian Reynolds conducts the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra and Chorus to great effect and the brilliant Armenian soprano Hasmik Papian’s lyrical and intense interpretation of the demanding title role accentuates the similarity between a Druid high priestess and a modern opera diva.
Another Norma, Another Triumph
It was the seventh "Norma"-production within ten months (after Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Mannheim, St. Gallen, Montreal and Detroit): on February 16, 2006, the Armenian soprano made her company debut at Opera Colorado in Denver in the title role of Bellini’s “Norma”. The production of James Robinson was conducted by Stephen Lord and was followed by three more performances on February 19, 22 and 25. Another Norma, another triumph, more ovations, more rave reviews - like these three:
A towering, all-encompassing performance by Hasmik Papian. Opera Colorado brought the Vienna-based soprano halfway around the world for this production, and it's not hard to understand why it went to so much trouble. A specialist in this role, considered to be one of the most challenging in all opera, Papian impresses in every way, compellingly conveying Norma's power, charisma and vulnerability.
Most important, she adroitly handles the role's nonstop vocal demands - the two-octave leaps, devilishly intricate ornamentations and fast-shifting dynamics - with near-perfect articulation and stunning phrasing, every note in place. Drawing upon a seemingly infinite array of vocal timbres, she can be bold or bewitching. Her singing is always beautiful with no letdown in energy, despite the immense stamina this role requires.
Denver Post, 21. 2. 2006
The Sort of Singing
We Can Only Dream of
Hasmik Papian proved that the advance raves of her Norma were, if anything, restrained. The Armenian soprano soared through the role's impossible demands while she crafted a characterization that was unexpectedly close to human. Her Casta Diva was poised, captivating and wonderfully focused (with an unforgettable diminuendo). Fully her equal, mezzo Irina Mishura brought a powerful voice and an elegant grace and nobility to Adalgisa. Her duets with Papian left opera lovers panting for breath.
Rocky Mountain News, Denver (Colorado), 18. 2. 2006
Move Over, Maria!
Half a century ago, Maria Callas established herself as the queen of bel canto, the richly ornamented style that turned singing into vocal acrobatics. Her reign ended, however, when Hasmik Papian took on the role of Norma that was Callas’ signature role. The throne now clearly belongs to Papian, who debuted Thursday in Opera Colorado’s first staging of Bellini’s “Norma”. The Armenian super soprano had a capacity audience in the Ellie Caulkins Opera House holding its breath in awe of the power and the ease with which she met Bellini’s challenge.
In a sense, Papian is two singers in one: a dramatic soprano with a rich, full-bodied voice, plus the grit to carry her through Norma’s tormented emotional range. At the same time, she can match the best lyric voices around in tenderness and agility. “Norma” is written in long, melodic lines, and Papian knows how to shape, color and sustain them. Watching her is a master’s class in singing.
Russian-born Irina Mishura as Adalgisa is a perfect match for Papian in the several duets at the heart of this score. This is teamwork at its best, and it brings a dramatic force to this story not immediately apparent in Bellini’s melodic simplicity. The two brush aside the wags who translate “bel canto” as “silly plot”. Moving from one emotional extreme to the next, Papian and Mishura lay bare the human vulnerability that makes this story convincing – and touching. “Norma” is a triumph for Opera Colorado.
Daily Camera, Boulder (Colorado), 18. 2. 2006
(For a facsimile of this review, click the "Rewiews"-button in the menu up right)
A return of the celebrated soprano to Denver is scheduled for April 2008 for "The Flying Dutchman" - it will be her first Senta!
Hasmik Papian has starred once more as Norma at Staatstheater Stuttgart: on April 3, 2006, she jumped in for Catherine Naglestad at short notice. The performance was conducted by Constantinos Carydis. Adalgisa was sung by Eva-Maria Westbroek, Pollione by Emmanuel di Villarosa and Oroveso by Enzo Capuano.
Aida at the Met –
Lifetime Achievement Award of the
Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation, New York
The return of the Armenian soprano as Aida to the New York Metropolitan Opera on October 29, 2005, ended up in a huge, personal success. Hasmik Papian who has made her debut at the Met in the same role back in 1999, was acclaimed above all for her rendition of the “Nile”-Aria; during the final curtain calls, the audience roared its approval to the singer with an ovation. Radames was sung by Salvatore Licitra, Amneris was Dolora Zajick; the conductor was James Conlon (three more performances took place on November 5, 9 and 12, 2005).
On the same day, Hasmik Papian has been presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award on the occasion of the annual gala of the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation that took place at New York’s Lincoln Center (Alice Tully-Hall). Among the singers honored alongside with her were Simon Estes, Mark Delavan, Ramon Vargas and Kay Armen. Licia Albanese has been a celebrated Met-diva for decades, most of all as Cio-cio-san in Puccini’s opera “Madam Butterfly”. Honorary Chairmen of the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation which is active for some 31 years now are Anna Moffo and Charles Riecker.
The next appointment with Hasmik Papian at the Met will take place in November 2007; this time, she will sing the opening night of a revival of the Met's production of "Norma"!
Norma in Montreal and Detroit
Hasmik Papian has started the new season as Norma making her debut at Opéra de Montréal (Canada), on September 17th, 2005 (with five more performances until October 1st). After that, she sang a new production of Bellini's opera at Michigan Opera, Detroit. Go to the "Reviews"-page (see menu top left) to view some of the rave reviews in French and English on both productions. Here is what Opera News wrote on the Detroit Norma:
A Great Night for Norma-Lovers
Ideal casting and uncommonly fine ensemble made October 12 a great night for Norma-lovers. Michigan Opera Theatre general director David DiChiera created this production of Bellini’s masterpiece back in 1989 (an operatic light-year ago) with no less than Joan Sutherland in the title role. DiChiera stored his scenery and costumes in the hope that another worthy cast would come along some day – as it did, for this revival.
Norma has become a signature role for Armenian soprano Hasmik Papian, who sings with unusual tonal warmth – a luscious, golden sound – to her remarkably even scale. She has the grand stylistic grace and sense of line that gives her the ideal vocal profile for the Druid priestess, confirmed in the ethereal “Casta diva”. Papian gave sure vocal balance to Norma’s many ensemble scenes without trying to dominate them – a very rare quality in the divas who sing this difficult role.
John Koopman, Opera News, December 2005
News from Armenia
On July 12th, 2005, Hasmik Papian has received the Order of Saint Sahak – Saint Mesrop from the hands of His Holiness, Karekin II., Catholicos of All Armenians, at the Mother See of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Etchmiatzin. During the event, the Supreme Patriarch pointed out that Hasmik Papian has conquered the most important operatic stages of the world and has appeared side by side with the most illustrious singers already within short time after her debut in her native Yerevan and thus brought honour to the world of Armenian music art. Throughout her international career, Karekin said, she has always kept a deep relationship with her people and her culture and has proved to be a worthy daughter of the Armenian Church. The congregation concluded the ceremony blessing the singer and wishing her further success in her artistic life.
Concert in Yerevan
Hasmik Papian has sung a solo-recital in the Armenian capital, Yerevan, on July 20th, 2005, at Khatchaturyan-Hall of the National Philharmonic. This concert under the title "Hommage à Komitas" was dedicated entirely to the works of the genius of the classical Armenian music, Komitas. The soprano was accompanied by world famous Armenian pianist Vardan Mamikonian. Besides some of Komitas' best known songs such as 'Krounk', 'Antouni', 'Garoun a' and the like, the two artists performed as a world premiere nine songs until now never edited and never sung in public, that Komitas wrote during his stay in Berlin in 1897 on German poetry.
And here is another track with Hasmik, singing a famous Komitas-song:
Komitas: Garun a (It's springtime)
From the Life-Recording of the Benefit Concert in March 2004 in Beirut; National Symphony Orchestra of Lebanon, conductor: Harout Fazlian.)
If you want to know more about Hasmik Papian's calendar, please choose the 'Schedule'-button above right! For professional inquiries, please contact:
Theateragentur Dr. Germinal Hilbert,
Maximilianstraße 22, D - 80539 MÜNCHEN, Germany.
Tel. +49 / 89 / 290.747-0, Fax / 290.747-90,
For the French speaking countries (Belgium, France, Monte-Carlo and French Speaking Switzerland):
Opéra et Concert, Dominique Riber
37, rue de la Chaussée d'Antin,
F - 75009 PARIS, France.
Tel. +33 / 1 / 188.8.131.52, Fax / 42.96.18.00,
For Italy: Studiomusica, Gabriele Monici,
via Farini, 53, I - 41100 MODENA, Italy.
Tel. +39 / 059 / 24.54.86, Fax / 23.58.75
Mob. +39 / 393 / 547.22.90,
In North America, Hasmik Papian is represented by:
Zemsky Green Artists Management,
104 West 73rd Street, Suite #1
New York, NY 10023, USA,
Tel. +1 / (212) 579-67.00, fax / (212) 579-47.23,
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (Alan Green)
or email@example.com (Bruce Zemsky).
Still available (on the label confido) is a double-CD under the title 'Gala-Nacht der Italienischen Oper' featuring international stars accompanied by the Duisburg Philharmonic under the baton of John Fiore recorded live in 2000. Hasmik Papian interprets "Chi il bel sogno" from Puccini's LA RONDINE, the scene "Mario! Mario! Mario!" from Act I of the opera TOSCA (Cavaradossi is sung by Icelandian tenor Kristján Jóhannsson) and part of the 2. Act of the opera LA TRAVIATA by Giuseppe Verdi (scene Violetta-Germont "Un di, quando le veneri" - with Boris Statsenko as father Germont). Please contact:
Capitol Sound Studios
Ravardistrasse 47, D - 46399 Bocholt (Deutschland)
Tel. +49 / 28 71 / 18 17 66, Fax +49 / 28 71 / 124 98
or (for professional distributors):
Audiophile sound distribution
In den Höfen 13d, D - 58453 Witten (Deutschland)
Tel. / Fax +49 / 23 02 / 96 32 62
You can view this web-site also in German, Italian or French (see tiny flags under the menu top right).
If you are interested in some information on less recent events, please click here:
News From Previous Seasons:
Debut in Brazil
On March 8, 2006, Hasmik Papian has appeared for the first time in Brazil. She sang the soprano part in Verdi's REQUIEM alongside with Mzia Nioradze (mezzo), Miroslav Dvorsky (tenor) and Francesco Ellero d'Artegna (bass). The National Symphony Orchestra of Sao Paulo was conducted by its artistic director John Neschling. Two more concerts took place on March 10 and 11. The location was Sao Paulo's prestigious center for classical music, the Sala Sao Paulo.
Tosca in Geneva
Hasmik Papian has begun the season 2006 / 2007 as Tosca: on September 1, 2006, the Armenian soprano has opened the operatic season at the Opera of Essen. Two more performances at the German opera theater designed by famous Finnish architect Aalto were scheduled on September 17 and 24. The revival of Christine Mielitz’ production at Aalto-Theater Essen was conducted by Pietro Rizzo; Cavaradossi was sung by Mikhail Davidoff, the role of Scarpia was shared by Victor Garcia Sierra and Károly Szilágyi.
She then took part in a Benevolent Gala-Concert at the Philharmonics in the Slovak capital Bratislava, together with tenor Miro Dvorsky, on November 11, 2006, for the benefit of the Slovakian Alzheimer Foundation.
In December, a return to the Semperoper Dresden for Abigaille (Nabucco) was up. The revival of Peter Konwitschny's production was conducted by Marko Letonja, the title role was sung by Paolo Gavanelli. Performances took place in 2006, December 10., 13. and 16., and 2007, January 1. and 4.
On March 30 and April 1, 2007, Hasmik Papian returned to the National Opera of South Korea for Aida . The performances took place at the Seoul Arts Center. Dieter Kaegi's production, in which the Armenian soprano has sung the title-role already back in 2004, was conducted by Pier Giorgio Morandi this time.
Hasmik Papian has sung her first Cio-cio-san in Rotterdam: returning to De Doelen-Concert Hall where she has already appeared in much acclaimed concerts as Norma, Tosca and Violetta, the soprano sang the title role in Giacomo Puccini's Madama Butterfly (concert version) on June 3, 2006. The Flemish Radio Orchestra and Choir performed under the direction of Yoel Levi. Pinkerton was sung by Hugh Smith, Suzuki by Mzia Nioradze, Sharpless by Vassily Gerello.
Recital in Cairo for AGBU's Centennial
On Easter-Sunday, April 16, 2006, Hasmik Papian has appeared in a gala concert on the occasion of the centennial of the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) in Cairo. For this solo-recital, the Armenian soprano was accompanied by acclaimed Armenian pianist Vardan Mamikonian with whom she has first appeared last year in Yerevan. Later this year, a CD with the two artists entitled “Hommage à Komitas” will be released on the German independent label Audite (keep visiting this site, and you will find detailed information in due time).
Established in 1906, AGBU is the world’s largest non-profit Armenian organization. Headquartered in New York City with an annual budget of $34 million, AGBU preserves and promotes the Armenian identity and heritage through educational, cultural and humanitarian programs, annually serving some 400,000 Armenians in 35 countries. AGBU has been a registered NGO at the United Nations since 1989.
The centennial festivities comprise a vast number of events throughout the world. The most prominent series of activities took place in Cairo where AGBU was founded 100 years ago. The gala concert with Hasmik Papian and Vardan Mamikonian featuring well known opera arias as well as works from Armenian composers was part of a 10 day program hosted by AGBU Egypt.
Norma in Amsterdam
On 10. March 2005, Hasmik Papian has given an outstanding debut at The Netherlands Opera, Amsterdam. She jumped in at very short notice for the second performance of the new production of „Norma“ (staged by Guy Joosten, under the musical direction of Julian Reynolds) replacing Nelly Miricioiu. She then also took over the following performances on 13., 16., 22., 25. and 28. March 2005. This production is going to be broadcast on Dutch Television in December 2005. - In the internet, a review read: Thrilling Norma in Amsterdam ... what a show she gave us. Hasmik Papian had all the notes for this incredibly difficult role, and she sang them bravely and convincingly. She could send out bravura thrills when needed but was also capable of great delicacy and subtlety. Her quiet legato singing in the scene when she was contemplating the murder of her children was spell-binding. This was a genuine Norma: a performance to treasure.
More Highlights of Last Season
On 23. March, Hasmik Papian has appeared in the title role of „Tosca“ next to star tenor Neil Shicoff as Cavaradossi at Deutsche Oper Berlin.
"La Traviata" in Rotterdam
On 9. April, Hasmik Papian has jumped in for LA TRAVIATA replacing Stefania Bonfadelli in Rotterdam; she sang the part of Violetta in a concert version of the Flemish Radio-Orchestra, Leuven. The conductor was Yoel Levi, her partners were Marius Brenciu as Alfredo and Anthony Michaels-Moore as Germont. The Big Hall of De Doelen Concertgebouw was filled with some 3.500 people (sold out) and celebrated the soprano at the end with a standing ovation. At the same place, Hasmik Papian has appeared as “Tosca” last year and, in 2002, as „Norma“ (replacing Nelly Miricioiu, just like in March 2005 at The Netherland’s Opera Amsterdam). The local press is referring to the artist as “the new diva of Rotterdam” … as which the singer will be able to proof again next year when she is scheduled as “Butterfly“ at Rotterdam's De Doelen Concertgebouw.
"Suor Angelica" in Liège
In April, the Armenian soprano has given her debut at Opéra Royal de Wallonie in Liège (Belgium), singing for the first time the title role of Puccini’s one-act opera "Suor Angelica", combined here with Leoncavalli's "Pagliacci". Her partner in the role of the Countess, aunt of Sister Angelica, was Fiorenza Cossotto. Musical direction: Giuliano Carella, production: Claire Servais. The opening night took place on 22. April 2005, followed by five more performances on 24., 26., 28. and 30. April. The last performance was broadcast live by Belgian classical radio station Musiq3. Here is what the critics wrote:
Hasmik Papian est une superbe Angelica, égale dans tous les registres, conciliant grâce naturelle et crédibilité scénique ; son «Senza mamma» est bouleversant. (Hasmik Papian is a superb Angelica; her registers are all even, combining natural grace and dramatic credibility. Her “Senza mamma” is deeply moving.)
La libre Bélgique, 26. 4. 2005
"Norma" in Mannheim,
Return to Paris La Bastille
On 7. May 2005, Hasmik Papian had one more opportunity to perform her signature role, Bellini’s Norma, in a gala concert at Nationaltheater Mannheim, marking the debut of the singer with this company. More appearances as Norma in the future include: Opéra de Montréal, Canada (17. September until 1. October 2005), Michigan Opera Detroit, USA (15. until 22. October 2005) and Opera Colorado Denver, USA (16. until 25. February 2006).
Also in May 2005, the Armenian star has returned to the Paris National Opera La Bastille, where she has given a very successful debut in 2003, singing Mathilde in Rossini’s "Guillaume Tell". This time, Hasmik Papian sang Lisa in Chaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades (production: Lev Dodin, musical direction: Gennadi Rozhdestvensky). The soprano has been singing this role for the last time with much acclaim next to Placido Domingo at Teatro Real Madrid. (Eight performances, from 28. May until 19. June 2005.)
The French classical radio station France Musique has recorded the perfomance life at Opéra La Bastille (with Vladimir Galouzine in the role of Herman) and broadcast the whole opera "The Queen of Spades" on July 13, 8 pm. The production will also be broadcast on French television.
In closing her season, Hasmik Papian has returned to Deutsche Oper am Rhein where she sang "Aida" on June 15. The audience gave her an ovation.
More Remote Events
On 8. July 2004, Hasmik Papian opened the Festival Luglio Musicale Trapanese located in the open air theater named after Giuseppe di Stefano , situated in a picturesque park called ‚Villa Margherita’ in the Sicilian port city of Trapani, singing the much acclaimed premiere of a new production of Bellini’s Norma . The famous Italian tenor, born in Trapani, was present as well as well known baritone Rolando Panerai and Gianni Tangucci, artistic director of the Festival Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. Di Stefano, who still keeps a lively memory of Maria Callas singing Norma, was deeply impressed by Hasmik Papian’s rendition of the part.
The soprano then ended the season with two performances of La Traviata at Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Duisburg. The audience highly appreciated the touching interpretation of the title role in the challenging staging of Karl-Ernst and Ursel Herrmann, reacting with enthusiasm. Hasmik had sung the premiere of this production in Düsseldorf back in 1998.
Hasmik Papian has started the new season with her debut at Staatsoper Unter den Linden Berlin as “Aida” (23. and 26. September 2004). The conductor was Simone Young, the cast included Irina Mishura (Amneris) and Franco Farina (Radames). – Afterwards, the singer appeared in the same part at National Opera of the Republic of Korea (Seoul Arts Center Opera House, 7. until 11. Oktober 2004). This production, staged by Dieter Kaegi, was conducted by Riccardo Frizza. It was the first time Hasmik Papian has sung in Korea.
Concert in Moscow
On 25. October, Hasmik Papian starred in a gala concert at Moscow International House of Music, a prestigious new venue with several concert halls, giving all artists of international reputation a new home in the Russian capital. She was accompanied by the Russian National Orchestra. This orchestra is placed under the artistic directon of Chief Conductor Vladimir Spivakov and is regarded as one of the finest orchestras in the world. The program included arias by Bellini, Verdi, Puccini and Catalani.
"La Juive" at Wiener Staatsoper
In November, a return to the Vienna State Opera was scheduled; Hasmik Papian has interpreted the title role (Rachel) in Jacques Fromental Halévy’s grand opera LA JUIVE this time – a part the artist has already sung at New York Carnegie Hall and – in the same production staged by Günter Krämer that is also shown by the Vienna State Opera – at New Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv. The performances – with Neil Shicoff as Eléazar, conductor: Michael Halasz – took place on 9., 13. and 20. November 2004.
"Aida" in Berlin, "La Bohème" in München
In December (10. and 14.), Hasmik Papian has appeared again as Aida in Berlin - this time at Deutsche Oper, where she has sung the part already several times. The conductor was Marco Armiliato, with whom Hasmik has done "Aida" at the New York Met for the last time. The singer has given her debut at Deutsche Oper Berlin as "Tosca" back in 1996.
On 20. December, Hasmik Papian jumped in at really short notice at Bayerische Staatsoper Munich singing Mimì in „La Bohème“. The phone call came some six hours before curtain rise; the artist had to spend two hours in a taxi on the freeway (full of snow) from Munich Airport to Maximilianstrasse ... Maestro Marco Armiliato was conducting again, with whom the singer had just performed "Aida" in Berlin. The performance proved to be a triumphant return to Bayerische Staatsoper, where Hasmik Papian has given her debut in 2002 as Donna Anna. A second „Bohème“ with Hasmik Papian took place on 23. December.
Debuts at Semperoper Dresden
and at Teatro Massimo Palermo
On 5. January 2005, Hasmik Papian has given a highly successful debut at Sächsische Staatsoper Dresden (Semperoper) as Abigaille next to Paolo Gavanelli in the title role of Verdi’s opera „Nabucco“.
In this role, Hasmik Papian has given her debut among others 1996 at La Scala Milan, 1998 at the Festival Les Chorégies d’Orange in the South of France and 2001 at New Tokyo Opera in Japan.
In February, another debut took place: at Teatro Massimo in Palermo (Sicily), again as Mimì in Puccini's La Bohème. The premiere was on 15. February 2005, followed by performances on 18., 20. and 22. Februar 2005. The conductor was Donato Renzetti, Rodolfo was sung by Walter Fraccaro.
News from Armenia
On 10. September 2004, Hasmik Papian has been greeted by ovations when she sang a Benevolent Gala Concert at Spendieryan State Opera in Yerevan; this solo-recital, accompanied by the orchestra of the Yerevan State Opera under the direction of Harout Fazlian from Lebanon, assisted by Catholicos Karekin II., President Robert Kotcharian and the First Lady, and other members of the government, took place in favour of an operatic production for children at Yerevan Opera ; the program included arias from operas composed by Rossini, Verdi and Puccini, some of which were sung for the first time in Armenia. – On the occasion of the 13. anniversary of the Independence of the Republic of Armenia on 21. September 2004, the Armenian soprano has been honoured with the prestigious title „Joghovrdacan Artistouhi“ (Artist of the Nation of Armenia).
A radio interview with Hasmik Papian in Armenian language, broadcast lately by Radio Vem, can be downloaded from the internet – use the following link:
Radio Vem or
Some more News on the season 2003/2004:
Hasmik has started the new year with her debut as Amelia in Verdi's SIMON BOCCANEGRA, returning to Nizza where she has triumphed before as Abigaille and in Verdi's Requiem. Thus, she could add another beautiful role to her Verdi-repertoire that counts now over a dozen opera's by the Italian genious (for more information, please click the ‘repertoire’-button top right!). All five performances at Opéra de Nice, under the baton of Maestro Marco Guidarini, next to Vittorio Vitelli in the title-role, Roberto Scandiuzzi as Fiesco and Walter Fraccaro as Gabriele Adorno, have been celebrated by enthousiastic audiences. Likewise in favour where the reviews labeling this production a Boccanegra de gala - praising Hasmik as especially touching singer (Nice Matin), whose sensibility and vocal abilities are those of a great artist (www.forumopera.com).
On 7. February, Hasmik has sung AIDA in a large scale production housed by Hamburg's Color Line Arena.
On 14. February, she could be seen once more as TOSCA at the prestigious Vienna Staatsoper where she has bowed singing TOSCA some nine years ago. The conductor was the same as in 1995: Maestro Marcello Viotti with whom Hasmik has excelled on the same stage as AIDA – a part she has sung together with the acclaimed conductor also at Deutsche Oper Berlin. - Maestro Marcello Viotti has passed away in the meantime (in February 2005), an event that shocked the whole musical world.
"Norma" - Hasmik's signature role
Vincenzo Bellini's NORMA: this might be considered as Hasmik's signature role after the tremendous success at Washington Opera in this part in October 2003. Here is what the most influential US-American opera magazin Opera News wrote in its January 2004-issue on Hasmik's Norma:
The title role of Bellini’s Norma continues to present remarkably daunting technical and interpretive challenges that are not readily met today. Many a soprano has been so defeated by the eloquently arching phrases of the score or the dimensions of the tragic plot that one is left wishing the producers had casta ’nother diva. But in Hasmik Papian, Washington Opera struck gold. From the first notes of her entrance scene Oct. 7 at Constitution Hall, the singer staked her claim on the role and the score. This was a very accomplished performance. Intensified by a darkly burnished low register, her voice bloomed in the cavernous space and commanded attention; the soprano’s phrasing caught the music’s beauty and drama in equal proportions.
And the British magazine Opera Now wrote about the Washington NORMA under the headline:
Bellini’s ’Norma’ is a lot like Donizetti’s’ Lucia’. If you don’t have a proper soprano to sing the title role, you don’t put it on. Hasmik Papian possesses the type of voice that one is born with, one that no amount of training could ever create. It is a powerful instrument, with a dazzling, silvery flow, perfectly pitched, wonderfully agile, and with awesome stamina. Equally impressive was Irina Mishura’s Adalgisa. The duets with Papian were heavenly: perfectly fused, ideally balanced, and precisely timed.
In february, Hasmik had another occasion to sing NORMA in the city of Nantes in the North of France (Maison de la culture Loire-Atlantique, production of Angers-Nantes Opéra). Some reviews in French language on this production can be found on the 'REVIEWS'-page (click button top right).
"Aida" in Leipzig:
On 13. March, Hasmik Papian has sung the title-role in AIDA, opening a new production of the Verdi-opera conducted by Marco Guidarini (producer: Wolfgang Engel) at Oper Leipzig. Seven more performances took place. The papers mirrowed how deeply she impressed both audience and critics by her expressive, skillful rendering of this role, quoting: Gold in der Kehle – stimmlich wie technisch über jeden Zweifel erhaben: Papian beherrscht sie noch, diese weiten, inhaltlich gespannten Legato-Bögen des Belcanto. Ihr Timbre ist atemberaubend, ihre Kraft beinahe beängstigend – und sie zeigt, daß sie ganz oben noch ganz leise singen kann. (Leipziger Volkszeitung).
Queen of Spades in Madrid
next to Placido Domingo
On 15. May, Hasmik Papian has opened a new production of THE QUEEN OF SPADES at Teatro Real Madrid, next to Placido Domingo. Here is what the critics wrote: Really interesting is the performance of Hasmik Papian. She succeeds in rendering Lisa as a tormented, insecure character, singing with taste, rich in details, offering vocal freshness and a distinguished pronunciation. (ABC, 16. 5. 2004). And:
Last Premiere of the Real
one of the Best in this Season
The excellent orchestral reading of Jesús Lopez Cobos was matched by an equally high ranking vocal interpretation. Plácido Domingo has made the role of Herman his own by using the expressive virtues of which the great tenor commands in his maturity. The rest of the voices were no less praiseworthy, compared to the qualities of the protagonist, from the fragile and yet palpable Lisa of Hasmik Papian to the elegant and scary Countess of Elena Obraztsova. (El Mundo, 17. 5. 2004)
TOSCA in Rotterdam
On 29. May, Hasmik has sung Tosca (concert version) at Rotterdam's De Doelen Concertgebouw where she has triumphed as Norma some three years ago. Sergej Larin was Cavaradossi, Sergej Leifekus Scarpia. The Flamish Orchestra from the Belgian city of Leuven performed under the baton of Yoel Levi. The audience gave her a standing ovation.
Verdi-Requiem in Warsaw
On 3. April, Hasmik has appeared at the Beethoven Easter Festival in Warsaw, taking over the soprano-part in Verdi's REQUIEM. The concert with the National Lithuanian Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Antonello Allemandi, took place at Warsaw's National Opera (Grand Théâtre); among the soloist were Violetta Urmana (mezzo) and Giacomo Prestia (bass).
Poland's largest selling daily newspaper, „Gazeta Wyborcza“, wrote about the concert: Hasmik Papian unreveled to be the star of the evening. Her dark and warm colored voice, a perfect instument, rendered even the most subtle details of sound and expression in the soprano-part (especially in the final movement „Libera me“).
Recitals in Beirut, Brussels and London
On 20. March, Hasmik sang a charity concert for the benefit of the Armenian Relief Cross of Lebanon founded 75 years ago. The event took place under the High patronage of the First Lady of Lebanon, Ms. Andrée Lahoud, at the UNESCO Palace in Beirut. The soprano was accompanied by the Lebanese National Symphonic Orchestra conducted by Harout Fazlian. The audience gave the artist a standing ovation for a most demanding program including opera arias from Bellini (“Norma”), Verdi (“La Forza del Destino”, “I Vespri Siciliani”), Puccini (“Gianni Schicchi”, “Tosca”) and Catalani (“La Wally”) in the first part and Armenian songs from Komitas, Kanatchian and Yeramian as well as opera arias from Armenian composers Chukhadjian and Tigranian in the second part.
At the end of the concert, Hasmik Papian was rewarded the “Order of Surb Mesrop Mashtoz” (named after the creator of the Armenian alphabet) by His Holiness, Catholicos Aram I. of the High House of Cilicia. Since this high honor came completely as a surprise and was also the first official decoration the Armenian singer has ever received from her fatherland, Hasmik was deeply touched and expressed her thanks in a very personal speech addressing the audience of the sold-out house, as well as the present archbishop, the first lady and the numerous ambassadors (among those present was also the ambassador of the Rebpublic of Armenia, H.E. Areg Hovhannissian).
The next day, Sunday the 21st, Hasmik took part in the Holy Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy House of Cilicia in Antelias (near Beirut), singing several parts of the liturgy that was broadcast live on the Armenian Radio Station of Lebanon.
April 24th : Commemorating
the Armenian Genocide
April, 24th 1915 marked the beginning of the Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire, conceived and skillfully organized by the Young-Turk regime. On that day, in Istanbul some 400 Armenian intellectuals, artists, doctors, lawyers, engineers etc. were arrested, deported and later murdered. One and a half million victims should follow during the next months. Unfortunately, up to this very day, all the Turkish governments that succeeded the Young Turks after the brake-down of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War II deny the historic facts.
Therefore, it is all the more important for every Armenian in the world to commemorate the victims of the Armenian genocide every year, especially on April, 24th. In previous years, Hasmik Papian has fulfilled her national duty in this regard many times, participating in commemorating events among others in London, the South of France, Berlin and Frankfurt (Paulskirche). This year, she sang two concerts related to the 24th of April: the first one was a concert organized in Brussels by the Assembly of Armenians of Europe and took place on April 13th at the Royal Belgian Conservatory. A press release on this event that united many diplomats, members of the European Parliament and high ranking officials of the EU, can be found on the “reviews”-site (click the button top right and scroll down the “reviews”-page or use your search function entering “Commemorating the Armenian genocide”).
The second one took place on april 16th at the prestigious Wigmore Hall in London and was attended mainly by British music lovers who gave Hasmik a standing ovation for her rendering of famous opera arias as well as some Armenian songs by Komitas, Kanatchian and Yeranian. In the frame of this concert, the audience greeted warmly also the British premiere of the violin concerto written by Armenian composer Alexander Arutunian.
Hasmik Papian deeply believes that familiarizing audiences worldwide with outstanding examples of the Armenian culture and prompting them with the experience of Armenian artists excelling in their respective domain is the best way to help reminding of, and in the same time overcoming the terrible past her people has known in the 20th century.