Harout Soghomonian, Levon Ghanimian, Maurice Soudjian, Mariette Soudjian, Taleen Babayan & Bernard C. Bayer

‘Charles’ Arrives in New York with Timeless Music


NEW YORK— Following its debut performances in Los Angeles, a bio-musical on legendary world singer Charles Aznavour will mark its New York City presentation on Sunday, March 1, 2020 at Symphony Space, in an event hosted by the Tekeyan Cultural Association of Greater New York.

“Charles” fuses the extraordinary life story of Aznavour with the live performances of his most famous songs, from La Boheme to Hier Encore to Les Deux Guitares. The production, written and directed by Taleen Babayan, highlights the professional and personal challenges of the acclaimed and beloved entertainer throughout his storied career, while showcasing the musical talents of Los Angeles-based performers Maurice Soudjian, Bernard C. Bayer, Mariette Soudjian, Harout Soghomonian and Levon Ghanimian.

“Charles” is based on Aznavour’s two autobiographies that comes to life on stage and recounts the influence his rich heritage had on him as he grew up in Paris, France, the son of Armenian Genocide survivors. His song dedicated to the 1.5 million martyrs, Ils Sont Tombes, is one of the 15 compositions that are part of the production.

Bernard C. Bayer

Austrian-born pianist and actor Bernard C. Bayer listened to Aznavour with his father as a youngster and was enthusiastic to “embody him and explore his life, artistry and music more in depth.”

“During our previous performances at The Hotel Cafe and El Portal Theatre, I could feel the audience’s love of Aznavour radiating towards me,” said Bayer. “It’s an honor to carry on his legacy.”

Opening up Aznavour’s music to a new generation, singer and actress Mariette Soudjian performs a Franco-English duet for Take Me Away (Emmenez-Moi) and She, while making a guest appearance as Edith Piaf, who was an early supporter of Aznavour, and singing her infamous song La Vie En Rose.

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“This bio-musical is well-suited and enjoyable for all ages and backgrounds,” said Harout Soghomonian, who plays the accordion and guitar. “Aznavour, like his groundbreaking music, was a far-reaching and memorable artist and we look forward to performing his music for the New York metro area this spring.”

The live theatrical performance serves as an homage to the golden age of music while linking generations and cultures in a city Aznavour sought to conquer early on in his career.

“The mission of the Tekeyan Cultural Association since its founding almost 75 years ago is to champion the arts in our community and we continue to uphold this worthwhile mission by encouraging and preserving our culture in the Diaspora and homeland,” said Chair Hilda Hartounian. “We’re thrilled to host this bio-musical performance on Charles Aznavour, who was an incredibly important figure around the world, and to welcome the Los Angeles-based performers to New York City in a unique production written and directed by Taleen Babayan, who is a legacy member of the Tekeyan Cultural Association.”

“The Tekeyan Cultural Association was a part of my life before I was even born,” said Taleen Babayan, whose grandfather Yervant Babayan served as principal of the TCA’s Vahan Tekeyan School in Beirut, Lebanon and as Chair of the organization for decades. “I’m sure my grandfather would be very proud of our collaboration here in the U.S., where TCA continues to be a strong cultural force in the community.”

“Charles: A Bio-Musical on the Life and Songs of Charles Aznavour,” will be performed at the Leonard Nimoy Thalia at Peter Norton Symphony Space, located at 2537 Broadway in New York City. For tickets visit www.symphonyspace.org/events or call Sheela at 201.218.6726. To view the trailer, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAMq9iRtKNI.



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