Arias and Songs

Elvira Uzunian, soprano

Catalog #S022599CD [DDD]

Giacomo Meyerber Dinorah
Dinorah's Aria "Ombra Leggiera" (Act II)
Gaetano Donizetti Lucia di Lammermoor
Lucia's scene of madness "Aheme! Sorge il Tremendo" (Mad scene)
Vincenzo Bellini La Sonnambula
Amina's Aria "Ah, non Credea Mirarti"
Vincenzo Bellini I Puritani
Elvira's Aria "Qui La Voce Vien, Dileto"
Vincenzo Bellini I Puritani
Elvira's Polonaise "Son Vergin Vezzosa"
Giacomo Puccini Gianni Schicchi
Lauretta's Aria "O Mio Babbino Caro"
Nicolai A. Rimsky-Korsakov The Tsar's Bride
Marfa's Aria "Ivan Sergeyich, khochesh' v sad poydem"
("Ivan Sergeyich, would you like to come into the garden")
Otar Taktakishvili Mindia
Mzia's Aria "Dabnelda, tsvrilny varsklavny akhvavdnen"
("Over the tired earth the starry midnight sparkles")

Sandro Mirianashvili lyrics by Rivaz Mogrelidze
"Nana tchemo tsitsuna, nana genatsvaledi" ("Lullaby")
Vazha Azarashvili lyrics by Moris Poshishvili
"Isev tsvims, isev kvpibs, isev khamea" ("I will not forget")
Vazha Azarashvili lyrics by Nikolas Baratashvili
"Makhsvos tvalni shenu" ("I remember your eyes")
Vazha Azarashvili lyrics by Nikolas Baratashvili
"Madli shen gamtchens, lamazo" ("Stars in your eyes")
Grevaz Gabichvadze lyrics by K. Koladze
"Ra lamazi khar" ("You are so beautiful")

Peter Bulakhov
"I net v mire ochey " ("There are no other eyes in the world")
Peter Bulakhov
"Prelestniye glazki" ("Beautiful Eyes")
Alexandre Varlamov
"O, ne tseluy menya" ("Oh, don't kiss me")
Alexandre Varlamov
"Chto mne zhit' i tuzhit'" ("Why would I live and grieve alone")
"Volga Rechen'ka" ("Volga River")
"Pryaha" ("The Spinner")
Luigi Arditi (1822-1903)
"Il Bacio" ("The Kiss")

Program Notes

Elvira Uzunian, soprano was the principal soloist at the Armenian State Opera House. During a distinguished 30-year career, she played 25 leading roles. She was also much in demand as a solo concert and recording artist, with more than 100 performances taped by the Soviet National Radio Network in Moscow. A film career (Madame Uzunian played dramatic acting parts in five films) and regularly published articles on music in the press enhanced her status as an outstanding and unique exponent of art.

Elvira Uzunian was born in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. She studied at the Tbilisi State Conservatory of Music and in Moscow with the legendary Bolshoi soprano Yelena Katulskaya. While still a student at the Tbilisi Conservatory, she took part in a competition held at the Armenian State Opera House in 1962. She was immediately invited to join the Opera Company. She graduated early and made her debut as Violetta in Verdi's La Traviata in 1963.

Association with the famous American tenor Jan Peerce made a strong impact on the young singer's career. Jan Peerce came to the Yerevan and Tbilisi Opera Houses to star in productions of La Traviata and Rigoletto. Elvira Uzunian, the young star of the Yerevan Opera House was trusted to star opposite him. In one of his interviews after a joint performance, he called Madame Uzunian "…an extremely charming and brilliant singer with a beautiful voice." During the week, Jan Peerce took on the role of Elvira Uzunian's mentor and teacher. She sang for him every day and he gave her valuable advice on singing and performing.

After Violetta and Gilda, her repertoire grew to include Rosina (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Oscar (Un Ballo in Maschera), Marfa (The Tsar's Bride), Olympia (Arshag the Second by Chukhadjian), and Maro (Daici).

Madame Uzunian's American debut took place in 1970. She went on a two months concert tour with the members of the Yerevan Opera that took them to New York (Carnegie Hall, Hall of the United Nations), Chicago, San Francisco, Fresno, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston, Detroit, and Canada.

While on tour, Madame Uzunian often sang the Scene of Anush's madness from Anush by the Armenian composer Armen Tigranian to great critical and public acclaim. While singing most of the Western repertoire, she gained great popularity in Georgia and Armenia for her performances of Anush and other Armenian and Georgian classical operas. She was awarded the title of People's Artist in both Armenia and Georgia, making her a member of the elite group of performers to be recognized by more than one republic of the former Soviet Union.

She also scored a triumph as Maria in the first production of West Side Story to be staged in the Soviet Union. Madame Uzunian sang leading roles in the premiere productions of Gian Carlo Menotti's The Consul and The Telephone in Armenia. The production of The Telephone was later made into an opera on film. Madame Uzunian's performance as Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor was one of the peaks of her career. Technically and psychologically demanding, the role demonstrated all her abilities as a singer and an artist.

Madame Uzunian was in great demand as a recitalist and chamber music performer. She was noted for her broad and comprehensive range of styles. Her repertoire included works by Lully, Pergolesi, Mozart, Schubert, Glinka, Rimsky-Korsakov, Glière, Rachmaninov, Arensky and many others.

An avid promoter of operatic art, Madame Uzunian created a unique and successful cycle of concerts titled "From the Pages of Opera". She performed arias, duets, excerpts from operas by many composers from Mozart to Menotti. She enjoyed creating thematic program cycles for her concerts, expanding and exploring one idea over a series of different works by different composers. She pioneered this form of concert performances in the Soviet Union.

Madame Uzunian has performed throughout the former Soviet Union. Performances and concert tours have taken her to Germany, Canada, Egypt, Eastern European countries, South East Asia, and the United States.


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