Baritones and Tenors in Musical Duels at Three Concerts


Vago Ohanyan

WORCESTER — Talents of the World, an international concert organization, is presenting “A Musical Duel of Tenors and Baritones” in three venues across the US: Mechanics Hall, Worcester, MA on March 31 at 7:30 p.m.; First Church in Cambridge, MA on April 1 at 7 p.m.; and Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, on April 9 at 7 p.m..

This project already has enjoyed immense success in Europe, but it is coming to the US for the first time.

Participating will be artists from around the world:  Australia, Russia, Armenia, Mexico, USA, France, Ukraine and Georgia. It is a truly international event, featuring famous hits from opera, operetta and Broadway.

Also, only in Worcester: Talents of the World will be collaborating with Worcester’s own soprano, Jane Shivick, winner of the Metropolitan Opera Competition and with Greater Worcester Opera under the tutelage of GWO’s Executive Director and a famous soprano, Elaine Crane.

Representing Armenia will be critically-acclaimed baritone  Vago Ohanyan, soloist with New York City Opera, recipient of the Medal for Arts and Culture from the Ministry of Culture in Armenia, conductor and Artistic director of Armenian choir of New York.

Ohanyan was born in Armenia. In 2007 he performed in New York in a concert production of Leoncavallo’s “Pagliacci,” singing Silvio. At the New York City Opera, he debuted as Sid in Puccini’s “La Fanciulla Del West.” In March, he performed with the Bachanalia Orchestra at St. Peter’s Church. He recorded a CD with Carlos Luis Garcia of Puccini’s opera “Il Tabarro.”

With the Armenian Philharmonic he sang Sharpless in “Madame Butterfly.” As a guest soloist, he has appeared with the American Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leon Botstein, in a concert production of Rachmaninoff’s “Francesca Da Rimini” in January 2002 at Avery Fisher Hall.

In March 2002, he performed songs by Rachmaninoff at Carnegie Hall. He sang a baritone solo in Durufle’s Requiem with the Plymouth choir and orchestra at Plymouth Church. In 1997-98, he performed at the Tchaikovsky Rediscoveries Festival at Bard College and at the Trinity Church. He also performed at Carnegie Hall with the Russian Chamber Chorus and was invited to participate Virtosi Moskow Conductor Vladimir Spivakov Moscow Cantata at Carnegie Hall and at Tanglewood with the Russian American Youth Orchestra and Chorus of New York.

In 2007, he became an ensemble member and vocal coach for the Hampton synagogue. One of his distinguished students is New York and Hampton Synagogue cantor Netanel Hershtik.

Other highlights include solo recitals with the Boston Chamber Orchestra and the Rhode Island Chorale. He was a soloist in Faure’s and Mozart’s Requiems with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra (Russia) in 1994-95.

Ohanyan continues to perform internationally at many prestigious festivals and opera houses. As a member of the Artist in Residence Program of National Chorale he teaches advance voice and is a principal conductor of the elite choir at the Professional Performing Arts School New York City.

Ohanyan holds a Doctorate of Arts Ed. and a Master of Arts in vocal Performance from the Armenian State Conservatory and a certificate from the Juilliard School. In 1996, he became a union member of the American Guild of Musical Artists. He is a co-founder of the 2009 Youth Talent (AYT) Music Competition at Carnegie Hall. Recently, Ohanyan was awarded a Medal from the Government of Armenia as the highest award for education and dedication to the Arts. He also received a Professor Honoris Causa Degree from the International Academy of Education Yerevan Haybusak University.

Ohanyan is also artistic director of Shnorhali choir of New York and Aregak children’s choir of New Jersey.

The musical duel between three tenors and three baritones, invented and embodied on stage by creator and author David Gvinianidze, is a musical contest between two male voices, a friendly competition involving jesting, laughter, and banter a

mongst the contestants.

The tenors will include Adam Klein, US (Metropolitan Opera),  Alejandro Olmedo, Mexico (Winner of Placido Domingo’s International Competition), Juan del Bosca, Mexico (New York Lyric Opera), Benjamin Sloman, Australia (New York Lyric Opera – only at Kimmel), and Raúl Melo, Cuba (Metropolitan Opera – only at Kimmel).

The baritones will include David Gvinianidze, Georgia (New Opera Moscow Theater), Vago Ohanyan, Armenia (New York City Opera) andIgor Tarasov, Russia (Bolshoi Theater).

The opera stars will perform masterpieces of popular vocal classics. Competing vocally and dramatically; duelists reveal themselves to the audience from an unexpected angle, not only performing at the highest level of execution, but with a fair amount of humor.

Also performing will be Ukrainian coloratura soprano Olga Lisovskaya (winner of several prestigious competitions and soloist of Commonwealth Lyric Theater, among others) and a British/French mezzo-soprano, Sophie Michaux, queen of fioritura, a truly versatile singer (at Mechanics Hall and First Church in Cambridge).

For tickets, visit www.MechanicsHall.org, www.TalentsOfTheWorld.tix.com or  www.KimmelCenter.org