Gegham Grigorian (1951-2016)


The world-famous tenor Gegham Grigorian graduated from Yerevan Komitas State Conservatory, the class of People's Artist of Armenia professor Sergei Danielyan. Grigorian made his first appearance on the big stage in 1971 at age 20, in 1972 he went to West Berlin to appear with solo concerts.

In 1975 he made his debut at the National Theater of Opera and Ballet of Armenia in the role of Edgar (opera "Lucia di Lammermoor" by Donizetti). This is followed by Saro (opera "Anush" by Tigranian), Tirith ("Arshak II" by Chukhajyan), Sayat Nova ("Sayat-Nova" by Harutyunyan), Count Almaviva ("The Barber of Seville" by Rossini), Faust ("Faust" by Gounod.)

In the 1970s he was already a famous singer in the former Soviet Union. In 1978 he took part in the competition of the School of Art in Milan at the theater La Scala and was one of the four lucky winners who were invited to qualify for this school. During his traineeship in Italy, he participated in several concerts. In "La Scala" Gegham Grigorian made his debut in the role of Pinkerton (Madama Butterfly by Puccini). After that performance, he signed a contract with the theater "La Scala" on the leading rols of the operas "Boris Godunov" and Tosca. The performances were conducted by Claudio Abbado, then he was principal conductor of La Scalla.

Unfortunately, the Soviet authorities, for unknown reasons, forbade him to act outside the territory of the Soviet Union for 10 years. In those years Grigorian was in the list of so-called restricted artists to travel abroad.

In 1980, Virgilijus Noreika, artistic director of Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre invites Grigorian to work In Vilnius. There Grigorian worked with the famous conductor Jonas Alex. He sang in the operas "Eugene Onegin", "Don Carlos", "Boris Godunov," "La Traviata," "Madame Butterfly," "Rigoletto" and many others.

Since 1989, at the invitation of Valery Gergiev he performed at the Mariinsky Theater as the lead singer.

Here Grigorian was a great success. In those years, the Mariinsky Theater just gained fame. Gegham Grigorian made a great contribution in the formation and establishment of company of soloists, that always marks with a sense of gratitude the chief conductor and artistic director Valery Gergiev. Until now, in St.Petersburg and throughout Russia, opera fans remember the beautiful and dramatic voice and a magnificent performance of Gegham Grigorian.

Since 1990 the Soviet Union was on the verge of collapse, and Grigorian had the opportunity to travel to foreign countries.

The stage of career of Grigorian began with debut at the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. In 1993, at the Royal Opera House (London), he made his debut in the role of Lensky ("Eugene Onegin" by Tchaikovsky), and in the role of Herman ("The Queen of Spades" by Tchaikovsky) in 1995. Grigoryan sang at all famous and big Opera Houses and concert halls. Royal Opera House (“Mazepa”, “Eugene Onegin”),Metropolitan Opera (“The Queen of Spades", "Aida", "War and Peace", " Un Ballo in Maschera", "Prince Igor", "Cavalleria Rusticana", "Tosca" ), La Scala ("Madame Butterfly", "La Forza del Destino", "Boris Godunov", "Khovanshchina," "Queen of Spades", "War and Peace”), Teatro Colón Buenos Aires (“Fedor", "Pagliacci", " Cloak ", “Norma “), Teatro dell'Opera di Roma (“ Norma ", "Aida"," Un Ballo in Maschera "," La Boheme ", etc.), Berlin Staatsoper (“ Prince Igor, " "Aida", “Il Trovatore, " “Queen of Spades ").

Grigoryan sang in New York, Washington, Tokyo, Paris, Vienne, Munich, Berlin, Amsterdam, Monte Carlo, Geneva, Florence, Japan, etc.

Since 1990, Grigorian was a regular guest at various festivals: Chorégies d'Orange (Orange, France), at the Summer Opera Season in the Baths of Caracalla (Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, Rome,Italy), Ravenna Festival (Ravenna, Italy), Savonlinna Opera Festival (Savonlinna, Finlyadniya), Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (Florence, Italy), Festival Puccini (Torre del Lago, Italy), Salzburg Festival (Germany), and many others. In the 1989-96 he was a member of the Committee of the artistic leadership at the Tours Festival (France). He fulfilled all of the most difficult parts for tenors ("Rigoletto" 208 performances, "Aida" 70 productions). He has worked with all the great singers of the classic genre, who created the history of classical performance of 20-21 centuries: Ghiaurov, Mirella Freni, Leontyne Price, Grace Bumbry, Gena Dimitrova, Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo and Gergiev, Zubin Mehta, Louis Levine, Bartoletti, Svetlanov, Richter. Opera directors: Grenvik, Konchalovsky, Zeffirelli, Del Monaco, etc.

After ten years of abroad career Gegham Grigorian has been called one of the best tenors of the 20th century, the list of which is headed by the legendary Enrico Caruso, Beniamino Gigli, Franco Corelli.