Varduhi Khachatryan: “One day, I will return to the place from where I embarked on my long journey”

“I have been living abroad for 16 years, but I am always in my Homeland with heart and soul”

Hayern Aysor’s correspondent sat down for an interview with recipient of seven international awards, soloist of Geneva’s Grand Opera Varduhi Khachatryan, who was awarded with the Komitas Medal of the RA Ministry of Diaspora on July 20.

Hayern Aysor: Dear Varduhi, I cordially congratulate you on receiving the high award. I would like for you to briefly present your career.

Varduhi Khachatryan: I was born in Yerevan. My father is People’s Artist of the Republic of Armenia Albert Khachatryan. I grew up in a musical environment and received my higher musical education in Yerevan. I have been a soloist of the Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra and have also sung with the State Academic Choir of Armenia. I made my first major achievement after winning the Vocalists Competition in the Belgian city of Liezh in 1999, after which I went on to win many other competitions. IN 2004, I received the Artavazd Award for Best Female Singer. I have performed on many stages around the world and have collaborated with famous singers, conductors and musicians. I have also given several solo concerts in many cities around the world. I sing in seven languages. In 2007, I moved to Geneva.

Hayern Aysor: What place does Komitas have in your life and in your repertoire?

V. K.: I was introduced to the songs and musical adaptations of Komitas while listening to the unique performances of the songs of Komitas by my father, People’s Artist of the Republic of Armenia Albert Khachatryan when I was a child. Komitas’s songs are included in all my solo concerts that I have given for audiences across Europe. I have also performed the works of Narekatsi, Komitas, Yekmalyan, Babajanyan and other Armenian composers during international festivals. In 2010, I released my album entitled “In Memory of Komitas”, which includes a series of Komitas’s lyrical songs.

Hayern Aysor: I have heard that you have created the Avetis Armenian-Swiss Cultural Organization in Geneva. What is the mission and purpose of that organization?

V. K.: The purpose of Avetis Armenian-Swiss Cultural Organization is to introduce European audiences to Armenian composers, musicians and performers, disseminate Armenian music and the arts in Europe and support talented Armenian youth and artists to become recognized in Europe. In 2015, Avetis organized three big events dedicated to the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide in the famous halls across Geneva.

Hayern Aysor: What are your plans in Armenia?

V. K.: Professionally speaking, I don’t have any plans. If invited, I will go and sing. On July 25, I will leave for Italy where I will be performing the song of Amneris from the Aida opera on August 11 and 12.

Hayern Aysor: How did you feel when the Minister of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia awarded you with the Komitas Medal?

V. K.: I was very nervous. I am happy to receive such an award in the Homeland. I have received many awards, but receiving the Komitas Medal was a very precious and touching moment for me. I always sing without expecting an award, but I must confess that it is nice to see such attention.

Hayern Aysor: You will be leaving in a couple of days. What will you remember about Armenia?

V. K.: I will remember many things-the sun, the smiles, the infinite warmth and the tranquility…I miss the people who are dear to me, the feeling I get when I am in Yerevan, the streets and churches that make me remember things…One day, I will return to the place from where I embarked on my long journey. I have been living abroad for 16 years, but I am always in Armenia with heart and soul.

Interview by Karine Avagyan

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