Nerkararyan Featured in Rachmaninoff Opera


By Tom Vartabedian

BRIGHTON, Mass. — In celebration of the 140th anniversary of composer Sergei Rachmaninoff, the Commonwealth Lyric Theater will perform his opera, “Aleko: The Gypsies” June 9-13 at Center Makor.

Appearing in the lead female role will be popular Armenian soprano Knarik Nerkararyan, who has performed frequently throughout Greater Boston and the North Shore.

The soloist will appear twice in the challenging role of Zemphira, Sunday, June 9, at 3 p.m. and again on Thursday, June 13, at 8 p.m.

The theater is located at 1845 Commonwealth Ave., site of the former Boston Vocal Arts Studio.

A month ago, Nerkararyan electrified a Merrimack Valley audience during the 98th anniversary commemoration concert of The Armenian Genocide. She was joined there by mezzo-soprano Victoria Avetisyan and tenor Yeghishe Manucharyan.

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Nerkararyan is the winner of American Educators of Italian Origin United 41st Opera Auditions and was runner-up in the Los Angeles International Liszt Competition for Vocalists. She also won first place in both the 2007 and 2010 Concerto Competition at Azusa Pacific University.

Highlights of her operatic roles are Mimi in “La Boheme” and more recently as Kupava in the American premier of Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera, “The Snow Maiden,” with the Lowell House Opera Society where she gained rave reviews. She has also appeared with Opera Boston and Boston Lyric Opera.

Nerkararyan currently serves as choir director for St. Gregory Church in North Andover.

The libretto itself is an exciting story about gypsies: love, betrayal, jealousy and a crime of passion.  Written in 1892 when Rachmaninoff was still a teenager, “Aleko” became his most-performed opera in Europe. The last time it was performed publically was in 1916.

For advance tickets, visit


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