January 02, 2008

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.
(Opera Today)

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.
(Classics Today)

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.
(America oggi)

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.

Pique Dame Cover.jpg

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.

For a Press Info on "Hommage à Komitas" in Armenian language, please click here
or download as pdf-file!

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.

HasVardanHomepage. Mamikonian

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:

BELLINI'S NORMA at De Nederlandse Opera, recorded live in Amsterdam 2005


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:

click here for larger image

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:

Spectacular "Norma"

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,
E-Mail: agentur@hilbert.de.

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 /, Fax /,
E-Mail: agence@opera-concert.com.

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,
E-Mail: gabriele.monici@studiomusica.net.

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: agreen@zemskygreen.com (Alan Green)
or bzemsky@zemskygreen.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
e-mail: info@capitolsound.de

or (for professional distributors):

Audiophile sound distribution
In den Höfen 13d, D - 58453 Witten (Deutschland)
Tel. / Fax +49 / 23 02 / 96 32 62
e-mail: audiophilesound@t-online.de


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