Young Armenian Tenor Liparit Avetisyan in talk after his role debut as Vaudemont in Iolanta, Berlin

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Young Armenian Tenor Liparit Avetisyan in talk with Opera Online

Mr. Avetisyan, youhave studied at the conservatorium in Moscow. Russian and Eastern singers regularly masterinternational careers. What is different in the education of voices and singing or/and what is special about musical education in Russia/ Moscow?

I believe that the musical world is the same everywhere and the language of Music is one. I studied at the Moscow Conservatory for two and a half years. I became a student at the age of 17, it was a rich, turbulent, and interesting life. In general, it was a life school, since I started to discover the big world and tried to find myself there. In 2011, I was transferred to the Yerevan State Conservatory after Komitas (it was indeed a very difficult and serious decision), many people criticisedme and did not believe in the correctness of my choice,but my decision was firm as I found the very professor for me there, Rafael Hakobyants, with whomwe practisedvocals twice a day: in the morning at his house, then in the evening after classes in the conservatory for threeyears. In our profession, it is very important to trust each other, think and even feel the music in the same way.

How did your awareness of your voice and musical talent start?

First of all, I would like to stress my mother’s huge contribution to this, as she was one of the first to notice my talent and passion for music. Then came turn to the music school, boys' choir, vocal department, laureating in republicanandinternational competitions. And one fine day I realisedthat singing and the stage is part of my existence,

After your European debut in Cologne you succeeded in an amazing career at the most prestigious opera houses in Europe, America and Australia? Do you have any preferred opera house? Do you feel differences in the reception of opera in between continents?

You know, I still sometimes get dizzy even today and this is the absolute merit of my manager and his team. We met in 2015 after the premiere performance of Carmen in Yekaterinburg.

A theatre is like a temple for me, a sacred place where I can touch and get closer to the greatness, as we the artists, every evening, after another life lived on stage, leave a piece of our soul there... Therefore, of course, historical scenes always carry some other energy for me. And thank God, there are a lot of them around the world, so there are also a lot of favouritetheatres.

I cannot help telling you about my house debut of Alfredo at the Royal Opera House of London in January 2017 (this is an unforgettable story). I would like to express my gratitude to the Foundation of Dame Kiri Te Kanawafor their support and contribution inpromoting my career as it was the foundation that reimbursed my first honorarium at Covent Garden. It's great that in our time there are more and more such funds supporting young artists at the beginning of their careers.

Then there was another nice surprise, in the spring of 2017, when I again returned to the Royal Opera House, this time to participate in the performance of the “L'elisir d'amore” - that was the roledebut. After another performance, Dame Kiri TeKanawa came to the stage, and I had the opportunity to get acquainted with her and hear words of praise and guidance. That was a fantasy.

Your repertoire often covers the role of the young hero and lover? What does it mean acting on stage for you next to singing? Do you prefer tragic characters (Rudolfo, Lenski) or successful shining (Duca, Tamino)? Why?

You are pretty right, young hero-lover. My manager and I always show a careful approach to the choice of new roles and try to make this or that part relevant to my physical abilities and technical preparation. After all, it is very important to feel comfortable (as my professor used to say: “This dress does not sit well on you yet, it does not fit you.”)

As a child, when I attended a music school, I simultaneously took acting lessons in a theatrestudio, where we staged various fairy tales and plays.Then I discovered that there is such a genre as Opera, where two of my favouriteactivities, singingand acting are joined together. After all, it's magical... when certain emotions splash out of you with the help of singing and are complemented by body language giving birth to a new person, a new identity who has its gait, gestures, posture.

I adore all my roles, as I find or try to find a piece of myself in each of them. I love character roles where you really need to play... for example, narcissist, tyrant, an unbalanced Duke or a romantic and insecure, but very passionately loving Nemorino.

With Alfredo, for example, we allied a long time ago. Ilove this character and in general this tragic love story - already sung for about 100 performances. In January 2022, I made my debut as Vaudémont with the Berlin Philharmonic under the baton of maestro Kirill Petrenko;  in a concertversion ofTchaikovsky's "Iolanta".

Your repertoire covers different languages – how important is the understanding of the libretto in all soft details in the expression of a role character? Do you have any language preferences in singing and acting?

Of course, knowledge of the piece based on which the libretto was created, and the libretto itself must be known. After reading any book, you make your personal view, which means that each person draws parallels with himself, with cases from his, his friends’ lives, etc. Based on all this, you give birth to your hero in your mind. Understanding of every word hidden in the interlinear under the notes is also very important. When you comprehend 100 percent what you are saying, the intonation and palette of your voice changes, which is too vital... at this very moment, your voice penetrates into people's hearts.

I speak Armenian, Russian, Ukrainian and English. Iam working on learning Italian. Singers have such an advantage, we sing in different languages ​​Italian, German, French (with translation),accumulating a large vocabulary and often without studying the language you catch yourself thinking that you already understand a lot.

What are your wishes for your further career? Which roles would you like to stage and study? Which stages/opera houses do you want to conquer?

I'm very young and we have much to do, so I'm in a continuous process of studying new roles: at the moment I'm working on the role of Ernesto from Don Pasquale, then I will go on with Romeo, Nadir, Faust, Ferrando, and Hoffman.

There are a lot of plans, and they are all big, I have not sung in many theatresyet and I think that everything is still ahead,

Do you think competition between young singers has increased due to the actual restrictions because of COVID. How did the pandemic lockdown affectyour career planning?

As for competition during or after Covid, I think it has always been and will be, there is no need to be afraid of it. Each singer is unique and inimitable in his own way, so you need to love your job and work hard.

What are your next major appearances on stage?

Now I am in Oslo. InFebruary, for the first time, I am making myhouse debutas the Duke at the Norwegian Opera & Ballet Theatre. Weare planning spring performances of La Traviata atBolshoi then Rigoletto in Zurich. In summer I am going back to Australia to perform my beloved Alfredo, then going to Seattle to perform Nemorino.

And of course, I'm looking forward to my debut at the Vienna State Opera scheduled in autumn.

How would you describe Liparit in his private life? How do you recover from performancesand travelling? What are your favouriteprivate activities?

I am a very positive and cheerful person, I devote all my free time (although it is not that much) to my beloved family (parents, wife, children). We have three sons, so we always have a lot of fun and amusement together. Theyare very active, they like to travel and what is the most important they love music and singing,  My family is my strength. My home is the place where I always gain a lot of energy, power and inspiration.

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