Charming beginnings: Mané Galoyan

Mané Galoyan, originally from Gyumri, Armenia, is the winner of numerous international competitions, including First Prize in the 27th Eleanor McCollum Competition and Concert of Arias with Houston Grand Opera, Third Prize in the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition, Fourth Prize in the 6th International Vocal Competition China in Ningbo, Third Prize in the 2017 Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition, and First Prize in the Bibigul Tulegenova International Singing Competition in Kazakhstan. She is a former member of the Houston Grand Opera Studio and resides in Berlin with her husband, conductor Roberto Kalb. Mané Galoyan is the 2nd place prize winner of the 2021 Operalia Competition, held on October 24th in Moscow, Russia, and hosted by the Bolshoi Theater. In the finals, Mané performed “È strano…Sempre libera” from Verdi’s La traviata and “Carceleras” from Chapí’s Zarzuela Las hijas del Zebedeo, and won the Second Prize overall, the Zarzuela Prize, and the Rolex Audience Prize. The day after the finals of Operalia, Ms. Galoyan travels to Amsterdam to make her debut with Dutch National Opera as Violetta. This past summer, she made a huge impression in Christof Loy’s new Luisa Miller with the Glyndebourne Festival and before that, debuted with Opernhaus Zürich as Adina in L’elisir d’amore. She also stepped in as Adina for her debut with Opéra National de Paris earlier in October of this year. This season, as an ensemble member of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Mané Galoyan will sing Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Violetta in La traviata, and Corinna in Il viaggio a Reims, among other roles.

Mané, it’s such a pleasure to meet you! Congratulations on all your amazing recent achievements, among which the Operalia Competition! Tell me about this experience – about the decision of participating, about the preparing process & then about the competition itself. I think this is an argument many young singers would like to know more about!

Bianca, very nice to meet you as well and thank you for the kind words! Participating in Operalia had been a dream of mine since I was 18. And years later the opportunity presented itself to be part of the competition and of course I was excited to be a part of this big event! I practiced and sang every day for a month before the start of the competition. This is one of the biggest or the biggest opera competitions, so naturally I was very nervous! It was probably one of the most stressful weeks of my life. Of course all the stress and nerves were worth it in the end! For the finals we sang at the Bolshoi Theater which is probably one of the most beautiful theaters I’ve ever seen! All in all Operalia was a dream come true!

Indeed, Operalia is a dream for many young opera singers! But do you remember the moment you decided you were ready for such an experience? What about the repertoire? How did you choose the “winning arias” and what’s your advice for the next generation of singers that dream to participate to such competitions?

I do remember the moment I decided to participate, buy I wasn’t sure I should put myself through such a difficult experience. To help make the decision, I called three of my most trusted people and made the final decision with my husband about a month before the start of the competition – they all reminded me how it had been my dream to be in Operalia since my college years, and that this was an opportunity not to miss! As for the repertoire, I chose the arias very carefully. It is very important to choose everything that you love to sing, that is very comfortable for your voice, and that you can perform in any situation. It is also important to highlight what you are best at, whether it be beautiful pianissimi, coloratura, long legato lines, and so on. My piece of advice would be to sing repertoire that is the closest to your heart. Choose music that shows off your abilities. The jury, and the audience, always knows when you perform something with love and pleasure as opposed to something that makes you too nervous.

Read the entire interview here, in the 1th/2022 issue of OPERA Charm Magazine.

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