Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Arts/Entertainment

April 18, 2013

Region's Armenians remember genocide through music

Music through the ages will be the focal point of a 98th memorial observance marking Armenian Martyrs’ Day in the Merrimack Valley on Sunday, April 28.

Titled “Weaving Armenia’s Story Through Music,” the program will spotlight three New England soloists: soprano Knarik Nerkararyan, mezzo soprano Victoria Avetisyan and tenor Yeghishe Manucharyan, accompanied by pianist Levon Hovsepian.

The commemoration, which will take place at 3 p.m. in North Andover High School, will be marked by a memorial service concelebrated by pastors from different churches throughout the Merrimack Valley, accompanied by a combined choir led by Paul Ketchoyian, accompanied by Arsen Russian.

The event will be attended by four generations, including an appearance by Nellie Nazarian, the lone remaining genocide survivor in the Merrimack Valley and southern New Hampshire. The 102-year-old Methuen resident has attended previous commemorations and has outlived all her peers.

Admission is free and the public is invited. A reception will follow in the school cafeteria.

“We’re very fortunate to have attracted three of the more prominent singers anywhere,” said Sossy Jeknavorian, chairwoman of the Armenian Genocide Commemorative Committee of Merrimack Valley. “What better way to tell Armenia’s fabled history than through music and song.”

Nerkararyan is choir director of St. Gregory Church in North Andover. More recently, she performed as Kupava in the Rimsky-Korsakov opera “The Snow Maiden” with the Lowell Opera Company.

Avetisyan has performed throughout the world. She made her debut with the Boston Lyric Opera Company, appeared solo at Carnegie Hall, and has performed with the Boston Symphony as soloist for Verdi’s “Requiem.”

Manucharyan more recently preformed Beethoven’s “Missa Solemnis” with the Charlotte Symphony, following an appearance with the Metropolitan Opera Society where he sang the new production of “Armida” with diva Renee Fleming. His Carnegie Hall debut was with the Opera Orchestra of New York in Donizetti’s “Anna Bolena.”

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