BOSTON — The Friends of Armenian Culture Society (FACS) will present the 60th annual Armenian Night at the Pops on Saturday, June 25 at 8 p.m. at Symphony Hall. The evening will feature renowned soprano Hasmik Papian. Music director Keith Lockhart will lead the Boston Pops orchestra in this gala celebration concert.
The program will feature a selection of operatic arias by Puccini, Catalani and Johann Strauss. In addition to the traditional Lord’s Prayer (Hayr Mer), a group of Armenian songs will also be performed, including Arno Babadjanian’s Aria-Vocalise for soprano and orchestra to mark the 90th anniversary of the composer’s birth, and the world premiere of a new song, Drinking Song, by composer John Sarkissian. Favorite arias will include O mio babbino caro from Puccini’s “Gianni Schicchi;” Ebben, ne andro lontana from “La Wally” by Catalaini andMeine lippen sie kuessen so heiss from Franz Lehar’s Operetta “Giuditta.” The concert will also feature works by Suppé, Sousa, E. Bernstein and Newman.
Grammy Award-winner Ricky Skaggs and his Kentucky Thunder band will also perform.
Papian graduated from the Komitas Conservatory in Yerevan first as a violinist, then as a singer. After her debut at the Armenian National Opera as Rosina in Rossini’s “Barber of Seville” and as Mimì in Puccini’s “La Bohème,” Papian started an international career, which has since taken her to the most prestigious operatic stages in the world: The Vienna State Opera, La Scala of Milan, Bastille Opera in Paris and the Metropolitan Opera of New York, to name a few. She has sung with such notable conductors as Riccardo Muti, Placido Domingo, Valery Gergiev and James Levine.
Sarkissian was born in Iran into a family of Armenian emigrants from Russia. He studied composition and piano at Conservatorio Giuseppe Nicolini in Piacenza, Italy, and later at UCLA and the New England Conservatory of Boston, where he received his undergraduate and graduate degrees, respectively. Among his composition teachers have been Shaheen Farhat, Paul Reale, Ian Krouse, Russell Steinberg, John Heiss and John Corigliano. Sarkissian is the recipient of first prize at the 2010-11 International Garden Music Competition in Poland for his piece for soprano and chamber orchestra.
For more information, contact Friends of Armenian Culture Society, Inc., P.O. Box 87, Belmont, MA 02478-0002 or www.FACSBoston.org.