NEW YORK — On March 2, notable musicians, musicologists and artists from nearby states gathered to celebrate in splendid setting the 90th birthday of Lucine Amara, the sublime Armenian singer, the treasured diva of the Metropolitan Opera.
Lucine Amara appeared on the stage of globally acclaimed Metropolitan Opera in 882 productions, depicting 56 roles in choice repertoire of international art of opera, which have often been broadcasted by radio and television. Amara is the only singer in the world who has sang at the same opera house for over 40 years, not to count her performances for the television and radio, recordings and participation in films.
Amara has performed the principal roles in Bizet’s “Carmen,” Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” and “La Boheme,” Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin,” Offenbach’s “The Tales of Hoffmann” (Les Contes D’Hoffmann), Mozart’s “Don Giovanni,” Leoncavallo’s “Pagliacci,” Verdi’s “Il Trovatore” and “Aida,” to name just a few.
For the past 20 years, she has been the artistic director of the New Jersey Association of Verismo, where talented young vocalists develop their art under her immediate attention and guidance.
Lucine Armaghanian-Amara is the daughter of Adrine and Georg Armaghanian, survivors of Armenian Genocide of 1915. To the question regarding the altering of her name, L. Amara replied: Lucine is the moon [in Armenian], as you know it, “armaghan” means a gift, but I’ve changed it to Amara, which means bitter, unkind in Italian.
Amara was born on March 1, 1925 in Hartford, Conn. Initially, she studied at the San Francisco’s Community Music School as a violinist, simultaneously singing at the choir of a local Armenian church, thus learning the liturgy, classical hymns and canticles.