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”!