Armenian mezzo-soprano Ani Kushyan has been a Young Artists Opera Program member at the Armenian National Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet since August 2021. She received her Bachelor’s Degree majoring in Classical Singing from the Yerevan Komitas State Conservatory, 2014-2018, graduating cum laude. Further, she continued her studies in Georgia at Tbilisi State Conservatoire 2018-2020 for a Master’s Degree. During her studies in Tbilisi, she participated in the Erasmus + Exchange Program. From hundreds of applicants she was selected to continue her studies at Riga Jāzepa Vītola Latvian Music Academy and after that at Lübeck Academy of Music in Germany. She worked there with leading professionals and participated in several masterclasses and concerts. During her studies, she performed Marta from Iolanta, Lyubasha from Tsar’s bride, and Anoush’s mother from Anoush and participated in numerous concerts in Germany, Latvia, Sweden, Estonia, Georgia, and Armenia. Ani is 1st Prize winner in “Armenian Romanciade 2021” and Bronze Medalist in “CIS Delphic Games 2021”. In the 2021-2022 season, Miss Kushyan made her debut at the Armenian National Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet as Third Girl in Anoush by A. Tigranyan. Her recent achievements include the Audience Prize at SOI Fiorenza Cedolins International Competition 2022. She has reached the final of the 21st Ottavio Ziino International Competition and won special prizes, Concert with the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra concert season 2022/2023 offered from Sergei Smbatyan, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra, Principal Conductor of the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra and Audition on the stage of the Teatro Alla Scala.
Dear Ani, nice to meet you. It’s a pleasure to interview you for our rubric dedicated to young and promising singers! Since August 2021 you have been a member of the Young Artists Opera Program at Armenian National Academic Theater. What about culture and opera in Armenia? How’s this form of art perceived in your country and… how did you get in contact with and fall in love with opera?
I was born in Georgia but lived both in Georgia and Armenia. Music has always been an integral part of the Armenian household. In Tbilisi, I was singing in the Armenian church choir for 8 years. It was there that the choir director brought to my parent’s attention that I was talented and had a good voice and encouraged me to pursue a career in music.
Speaking of Young Artist Programs, what do these Studios look for in a young singer at the audition? How do you prepare for an audition?
What they look for is an Artist, that will develop over time, and even become a better artist. It’s not only about your voice or presentation. It’s all about the full package. In my humble opinion, the Young Artist Programs are in search of natural-born talents first, and second, they give a chance to develop the talent to a status of a profession. This kind of platform gives an opportunity for talent to develop into professional singers. It is important for me to sing literally correctly and know the vocal technic. That being said when I prepare for the audition I need to know the part, understand and express the meaning and perform it uniting talent and knowledge.
Read the entire interview here, in the 8th/2022 issue of OPERA Charm Magazine.0