By Robert Dulgarian
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The year 2015 was one of renewal, reflection and hope for Armenians all over the world. Since the official centenary of the Armenian Genocide saw the recognition of its martyrs as saints by the Armenian Apostolic Church, the advent of the year’s Christmas and Nativity season was bound to hold a special meaning for Armenians.
The annual Christmas Holiday Concert of Holy Trinity Armenian Church of Greater Boston by the Erevan Choral Society, held in the church sanctuary on December 13, and directed by the indefatigable Konstantin Petrossian, sought to pay tribute to both the solemnity and the joy that consequently marked an unusual holiday season.
As befits a year of renewal, this year’s concert featured both new voices and familiar voices in new roles. Almost traditionally, the concert has featured a world premier: the choral vocalise Aghotk (“Prayer”) by Martin Vardazaryan, a performance dedicated to two departed Erevan Choral Society benefactors, Gerald Ajemian and Garbis Barsoumian.
Perhaps most novel was the virtuoso performance by the a cappella quartet, The Bostonians, in which alto Roselin Osser, tenor Michael Calmès, and bass Philip Lima joined soprano Nouné Karapetian, a performer well-known to Armenian audiences. The quartet offered a lyrical and spirited rendition of the carol “Ding Dong Merrily on High” and of Armenian songs Cilicia and Noubar, Noubar, the last two dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.
All four singers’ mastery of the Armenian lyrics clearly impressed and delighted the audience.