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Interview with the opera singer Hasmik Papyan

-Mrs. Papyan , welcome to your homeland. What’s your mission in Armenia?

-If only “welcome” wasn’t observed as coming to Armenia is an event. I come to Armenia every year, often without any mission. I come to meet myself, to become an entity. The bond between a person and birthplace is mysteriously deep and versatile. I come to breathe the air of my homeland, to pass through the streets I have passed in the years of my childhood and youth, to see the places of which I have dear memories. I need this all most of all in the world. I want to listen to the frank conversation of the Armenian taxi-driver, to exchange a word or two with the shoemaker. I want to feel the breath, the colour which is so harmonious to the rhythm of my blood, to the miniature of my soul, to the content of my heart. Fatherland is my point of support in this great world.

– Have you been able to give at least one particle from your love towards your fatherland Armenia to your ten year old daughter – Siranuysh? By the way, you have chosen a very beautiful name – Siranuysh.

– I think that the name Siranuysh is very typical to an Armenian girl; it expresses the the beauty, the charm, the modesty of the Armenian woman. That name suits my daughter a lot.

– But your daughter isn’t an Armenian. She is the daughter of the famous German playwright Konrad Kuhn.

– Once I heard my daughter explain her friend: “Me and my mother are Armenian. My father is a German”. And it’s true. Before meeting me my husband was acquainted with the Armenian culture, Armenian civilization (as any developed man), but after our marriage he studied Armenian history and culture more successively. I am happy that my husband is delighted with the values we have created and thinks very highly of the Armenian contribution to the world culture. My husband studied Armenian and today he not only speaks excellent Armenian, but also does translations. Recently he has translated sixty poems written by Charents into Armenian. In my husband’s opinion Charents is a poet of universal greatness. Today the German reader has a chance to become acquaninted with Charents’ poetry. My husband has an intention to translate the works of Hrant Matevosyan into German as well. I want to mention that we speak Armenian at home, my daughter grows up listening to Armenian speech, and it’s the most important condtion of being an Armenian. Language isn’t only a means of communication, it’s a mentality, national mould. My daughter loves Armenia; she loves the Armenians. Now she is with my and she counts the days wondering how many days she still has in Armenia. Every day spent in Armenia is a holiday for her.

On the 28th of July I sang in the capital of Atrsakh – Stepanakert. Artskh is even more beautiful than Switzerland; its beauty is more heavenly. Once more I felt the bond of the land and my blood. I saw the powerful, adamant, strong people of Artsakh. My daughter was also delighted. I’ll never forget the Armenian audience. I sang “Aida” for the Armenian audience seven or eight months ago.

–What is the weight of Armenian art music in the implications of global development?

– Armenia presents itself to the world with its talents. The Armenian land gives birth to talents; it’s our innate feature. I don’t want to mention any names as there are many. They raise Armenia up to the sphere of global art.

-What do you do now?

– I try to perform arias that are very complicated and only a few singers have been able to overcome that complexity; for example “Francesca da Rimini”, “Fedra”. I set many goals in front of me and I make every effort to accomplish them.

–What for? Fame, storms of applauses?

– No. There is a miraculous moment on the stage when your heart speaks with thousands of hearts, when your heart beats in proportion to the hearts of the people sitting in the hall… I do it in the name of that moment.

Gayaneh Poghosyan

Category: #44 (909) 10.11.2011 – 16.11.2011, Army and Society, Spiritual-Cultural, News