Hasmik Papian

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Hasmik Papian
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Background information
Born(1961-09-02)September 2, 1961
Origin Yerevan
Website www.Hasmik-Papian.com

Hasmik Papian (Armenian : Հասմիկ Պապյան; born 2 September 1961) [1] is an Armenian soprano. She was awarded the People's Artist of Armenia title in 2004. Papian was named a Cultural ambassador of Armenia in the World for her contributions to Armenian culture in 2005 by the Catholicos of the Holy See of St. Echmiadzin and All Armenians Karekin II and awarded the Order of Saint Sahag and Saint Mesrob and Order of Saint Mesrop Mashdots.

Armenian language Indo-European language

The Armenian language is an Indo-European language spoken primarily by Armenians. It is the official language of Armenia. Historically being spoken throughout the Armenian Highlands, today, Armenian is widely spoken throughout the Armenian diaspora. Armenian is written in its own writing system, the Armenian alphabet, introduced in 405 AD by Mesrop Mashtots.

Armenians ethnic group native to the Armenian Highland

Armenians are an ethnic group native to the Armenian Highlands of Western Asia.

A soprano[soˈpraːno] is a type of classical female singing voice and has the highest vocal range of all voice types. The soprano's vocal range (using scientific pitch notation) is from approximately middle C (C4) = 261 Hz to "high A" (A5) =880 Hz in choral music, or to "soprano C" (C6, two octaves above middle C) =1046 Hz or higher in operatic music. In four-part chorale style harmony, the soprano takes the highest part, which often encompasses the melody. The soprano voice type is generally divided into the coloratura, soubrette, lyric, spinto, and dramatic soprano.


She has been described by The Washington Post as "the best Norma alive." [2]

<i>The Washington Post</i> Daily broadsheet newspaper published in Washington, D.C.

The Washington Post is a major American daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C., with a particular emphasis on national politics and the federal government. It has the largest circulation in the Washington metropolitan area. Its slogan "Democracy Dies in Darkness" began appearing on its masthead in 2017. Daily broadsheet editions are printed for the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia.

<i>Norma</i> (opera) opera by Vincenzo Bellini

Norma is a tragedia lirica or opera in two acts by Vincenzo Bellini with libretto by Felice Romani after the play Norma, ou L'infanticide by Alexandre Soumet. It was first produced at La Scala in Milan on 26 December 1831.


Hasmik Papian was born in Yerevan, Armenia (then part of the Soviet Union) on 2 September 1961. She first began an interest in music when she started playing the violin at the age of 5. Papian graduated from Komitas High Academy in Yerevan first as a violinist, then as a singer. Her friends had encouraged her to explore her voice, and Tatevik Sazandaryan, the head of the vocal department at Komitas, had told Papian after hearing a couple of notes from her that she had to sing. [3]

Yerevan City in Armenia

Yerevan is the capital and largest city of Armenia as well as one of the world's oldest continuously inhabited cities. Situated along the Hrazdan River, Yerevan is the administrative, cultural, and industrial center of the country. It has been the capital since 1918, the fourteenth in the history of Armenia and the seventh located in or around the Ararat plain. The city also serves as the seat of the Araratian Pontifical Diocese; the largest diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church and one of the oldest dioceses in the world.

Soviet Union 1922–1991 country in Europe and Asia

The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Alma-Ata, and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometres east to west across 11 time zones, and over 7,200 kilometres north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, taiga, steppes, desert and mountains.

Violin bowed string instrument, usually with four strings tuned in perfect fifths

The violin, sometimes known as a fiddle, is a wooden string instrument in the violin family. Most violins have a hollow wooden body. It is the smallest and highest-pitched instrument in the family in regular use. Smaller violin-type instruments exist, including the violino piccolo and the kit violin, but these are virtually unused. The violin typically has four strings tuned in perfect fifths, and is most commonly played by drawing a bow across its strings, though it can also be played by plucking the strings with the fingers (pizzicato) and by striking the strings with the wooden side of the bow.

After her debut at the Armenian National Opera, she was invited as a soloist among others by Opera Bonn and Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Düsseldorf, Germany. Soon, she started an international career and has since appeared at numerous theaters, including the most prestigious operatic stages and concert houses in the world like The Metropolitan Opera and Carnegie Hall in New York, San Francisco Opera, Washington National Opera, La Scala of Milan, Opéra Bastille in Paris, Gran Theatre del Liceu Barcelona, Teatro Real Madrid, London Wigmore Hall, the Vienna State Opera and Musikverein Vienna, Concertgebouw and De Nederlandse Opera Amsterdam, Zurich Opera, Mariinsky Theatre St. Petersburg, as well as the state operas of Munich, Stuttgart, Hamburg, Dresden and Berlin. [4]

Düsseldorf Place in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Düsseldorf is the capital and second-largest city of the most populous German federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia after Cologne, as well as the seventh-largest city in Germany. with a population of 617,280. At the confluence of the Rhine and its tributary Düssel, the city lies in the centre of both the Rhine-Ruhr and the Rhineland Metropolitan Regions with the Cologne Bonn region to its south and the Ruhr to its north. Most of the city lies on the right bank of the Rhine. The city is the largest in the German Low Franconian dialect area. "Dorf" meaning "village" in German, the "-dorf" suffix is unusual in the German-speaking area for a settlement of Düsseldorf's size.

Metropolitan Opera opera company in Manhattan, New York City

The Metropolitan Opera is an opera company based in New York City, resident at the Metropolitan Opera House at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. The company is operated by the non-profit Metropolitan Opera Association, with Peter Gelb as general manager. As of 2018, the company's current music director is Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

Carnegie Hall concert hall in New York City

Carnegie Hall is a concert venue in Midtown Manhattan in New York City, United States, located at 881 Seventh Avenue, occupying the east side of Seventh Avenue between West 56th Street and West 57th Street, two blocks south of Central Park.

Papian attributes her big break to winning the Belvedere Singing Competition in Vienna in 1990. One of the prizes of the Belvedere competition was to sing from her repertoire at the Grand Theatre in Warsaw. She had included Norma in her stock of plays, though hadn't expected to sing it due to her youth and inexperience. Papian accepted a last-minute offer to sing Norma at the Teatr Wielki although she had never sung the opera live before, and prepared in five days’ notice, two brief rehearsal days, and a single orchestra rehearsal. Norma would later become her signature role. Papian sang Norma for the first time on in Warsaw in 1993, where Giancarlo del Monaco, son of Mario Del Monaco, caught her performance and offered her a contract with the Opera Bonn in Germany. [3] [5] Her professional career as an opera singer had then began. This very first contract was for principal roles in Verdi’s La traviata , Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni , and Micaela in Bizet’s Carmen . She sang Tosca for the first time at the Vienna State Opera in 1995. [3]

Grand Theatre, Warsaw opera house in Warsaw, Poland

The Grand Theatre in Warsaw or the Great Theatre—National Opera is a theatre complex, opera company, and home of the Polish National Ballet, located on historic Theatre Square in Warsaw, Poland. The Warsaw Grand Theatre is one of the largest theatres in Europe and in the world, with a seating capacity of over 2000.

Giancarlo del Monaco, born December 27, 1943 near Venice, Italy, is the son of the legendary tenor Mario del Monaco.

Mario Del Monaco Italian opera singer

Mario Del Monaco was a spectacular operatic tenor who earned worldwide acclaim for his powerful voice and acting skills.

She currently lives in Vienna, Austria with her husband Konrad Kuhn, a dramaturge working for various European theaters such as the Zürich Opera House [6] and Papian's public relations director, [3] and their daughter, Siranoush, born in 2001. [2] [5] Her husband wrote a book featuring the German translation of a selection of poems by Armenian poet Yeghishe Charents. [3] Papian has called Yerevan her “beloved city” and has said, “I never left Armenia. I almost look at [my absence] as a business trip.” She visits her home country every year and plans to live in Armenia at the end of her career. [5]

Vienna Capital city and state in Austria

Vienna is the federal capital and largest city of Austria, and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primate city, with a population of about 1.9 million, and its cultural, economic, and political centre. It is the 7th-largest city by population within city limits in the European Union. Until the beginning of the 20th century, it was the largest German-speaking city in the world, and before the splitting of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in World War I, the city had 2 million inhabitants. Today, it has the second largest number of German speakers after Berlin. Vienna is host to many major international organizations, including the United Nations and OPEC. The city is located in the eastern part of Austria and is close to the borders of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary. These regions work together in a European Centrope border region. Along with nearby Bratislava, Vienna forms a metropolitan region with 3 million inhabitants. In 2001, the city centre was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In July 2017 it was moved to the list of World Heritage in Danger.

Austria Federal republic in Central Europe

Austria, officially the Republic of Austria, is a country in Central Europe comprising 9 federated states. Its capital, largest city and one of nine states is Vienna. Austria has an area of 83,879 km2 (32,386 sq mi), a population of nearly 9 million people and a nominal GDP of $477 billion. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Hungary and Slovakia to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. The terrain is highly mountainous, lying within the Alps; only 32% of the country is below 500 m (1,640 ft), and its highest point is 3,798 m (12,461 ft). The majority of the population speaks local Bavarian dialects as their native language, and German in its standard form is the country's official language. Other regional languages are Hungarian, Burgenland Croatian, and Slovene.

Zürich Opera House opera house

Zürich Opera House is an opera house in the Swiss city of Zürich. Located at the Sechseläutenplatz, it has been the home of the Zürich Opera since 1891, and also houses the Bernhard-Theater Zürich. It is also home to the Zürich Ballet.


Her repertoire ranges from Mozart's Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), Rossini's Mathilde (William Tell), Halévy's Rachel (La Juive) and Bizet's Micaëla (Carmen), passing by Puccini's Mimì (La Bohème), Magda (La Rondine), Tosca, Madama Butterfly, Ponchielli's Gioconda (La Gioconda), and Boito's Margareta/ Elena (Mefistofele) to Tchaikovsky's Lisa (The Queen of Spades) and Richard Wagner's Senta (The Flying Dutchman). It contains twelve Verdi-roles: La Traviata, Desdemona (Otello), Aida, Leonora (Il Trovatore and La forza del destino), Elisabetta (Don Carlo), Elena (I vespri siciliani), Amelia (Simon Boccanegra), Elvira (Ernani), Lady Macbeth, Abigaille (Nabucco), Odabella (Attila) as well as the Requiem. A central part for her is Bellini's Norma; she has appeared in this role among others at Vienna Volksoper, at the Regio of Turin, in Montreal, Baltimore, Detroit, Denver, Washington, D.C. and at the Metropolitan Opera New York, at Opéra de Marseille, Opéra de Montpellier, at the festivals Chorégies d'Orange (South of France) and Luglio Trapanese (Sicily), in Mannheim, Stuttgart, St. Gallen, Split, Rotterdam and at De Nederlandse Opera Amsterdam. The Amsterdam production has been released on DVD in October 2006. In January 2009, she has added another bel canto role to her repertoire: Queen Elizabeth I in Donizetti's Roberto Devereux (debut at The Dallas Opera).

Artistic Appearances

Papian has appeared in most European countries, in Israel, Lebanon (Baalbeck International Festival), Japan, Latin America (Mexico, Brazil, Chile), as well as Canada (Toronto, Montreal) and the United States where she is invited regularly (besides Washington, DC, San Francisco and the Met also Baltimore, Detroit, Cincinnati Festival and Denver, among others). She has performed with many notable conductors – such as Riccardo Muti, Valery Gergiev, Georges Prêtre, Michel Plasson, Marcello Viotti, Maurizio Arena, Myung-whun Chung, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Plácido Domingo, Leonard Slatkin, James Morris and James Conlon. Papian is also very active promoting the music of fellow Armenian composers such as Komitas Vardapet, Yeranian, Kanatchian, Tchoukhadjian, Tigranian, Avet Terterian and Tigran Mansurian in her recitals. In 2006, a Super Audio CD with 36 songs of Komitas had been released, including some nine songs on German poetry recorded there for the first time ever. In addition, she makes the time to perform several benefit concerts for worthy causes, including the Armenian Relief Society of Lebanon, UNICEF, Mammography Center of Yerevan, Gyumri rebuilding efforts, and Armenian Genocide commemorative events. [2] [3]

She was honored in 2004 with the title of the "People's Artist" of the Republic of Armenia and had received the Order of Saint Mesrop Mashdots from Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia Aram I. In 2005, Papian was awarded the Order of Saint Sahag and Saint Mesrob from the hands of Catholicos Karekin II of Armenia at the Holy Mother See of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Echmiadzin, for her role as a "cultural ambassador of Armenia throughout the world". [3]

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  1. ՀԱՍՄԻԿ ՊԱՊՅԱՆ (Armenian)
  2. 1 2 3 Joy, Negar (2003). "Diva with a Heart Supports Women in Armenia" (PDF). Washington, D.C.: Armenian American Cultural Association. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 April 2014. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Avanesian, Tenny (10 May 2008). "Soprano Hasmik Papian reigns supreme" (PDF). Armenian Reporter. Washington, D.C. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 December 2010. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  4. Papian biography Archived 2014-04-29 at the Wayback Machine
  5. 1 2 3 "2011 Armenian Night at the Pops Features Soprano Hasmik Papian, World Premier by John Sarkissian". The Armenian Mirror-Spectator. 16 June 2011. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  6. "Hasmik Papian hones Vancouver Opera's high priestess, Norma". Straight.com. 25 November 2009. Archived from the original on 29 April 2014. Retrieved 10 September 2013.