Selected to represent Armenia at BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2017, Winner of First and Public Prizes, as well as a test Deutsche Grammophon recording contract, at the 2016 Stella Maris Competition, of one of the three prizes and of the 2014 Concours Suisse Ernst Haefliger Competition, Armenian soprano Anush Hovhannisyan was a member of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme between 2013 and 2015. In addition to appearing in a variety of roles on the main stage, she also sang the soprano solos in Gloria for the Royal Ballet and the Verdi Requiem for the Royal Opera House’s Learning and Participation department on tour in France.
A Finalist in the 2018 International Opera Awards, last season Anush Hovhannisyan enjoyed a “star is born moment” (The Sunday Times) on her acclaimed debut with Scottish Opera as Violetta La traviata, also singing Amaltea Mosè in Egitto for Chelsea Opera Group, Beethoven Symphony No. 9 and Berg Seven Early Songs with the Southbank Sinfonia, a recital at the Gstaad New Year Music Festival, BBC Radio 3’s Big Chamber Day at Saffron Hall and Passion and Poetry with the Philharmonia Orchestra.
During 2018 / 2019, Anush Hovhannisyan makes her debut with Welsh National Opera as Violetta La traviata. Her current engagements further include Mirra in the Italian première of Liszt’s Sardanapolo at the Suoni dal Golfo, Lerici, Donna Anna Don Giovanni at the 2018 New Generation Festival, Florence, Tamara The Demon for Chelsea Opera Group, Verdi Requiem at Saffron Hall and an Opera Gala at the Moscow International Performing Arts Centre. She will return to Welsh National Opera in 2020 as Hélène Les vêpres siciliennes.
Anush Hovhannisyan began studying violin aged six at the A. Spendiaryan Music School and went on to study singing at the Yerevan State Conservatory and at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, graduating in 2013. She is a Samling Artist and her many awards and scholarships further include the Clonter Opera Prize, the Margaret Dick Award, a Ye Cronies Opera award, the Bayreuth Prize from the Wagner Society of Scotland, Third Prize at the Les Azuriales International Singing Competition and the Ian Smith of Stornoway Award for Opera, awarded by the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Her wider engagements have included Adina L’elisir d’amore at the New Generation Festival, Florence, the title role in Maria Stuarda at the Stadttheater Klagenfurt, Sitâ Le Roi de Lahore, Donna Elvira Don Giovanni at the Teatro Verdi, Trieste, Emma Khovanschina with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the 2017 BBC Proms, Anitra Peer Gynt with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Shostakovich Symphony No. 14 with the Southbank Sinfonia, Woolf Works with the Royal Ballet, the opening of the 2017 Al Bustan Festival and a solo recital at the 2018 Gstaad Music as a prize winner at the 2016 Concours international de Belcanto Vincenzo Bellini
Conductors with whom she has worked include Giedre Slekyté, Michael Altstaedt, Renato Balsadonna, Semyon Bychkov, Gianluigi Gelmetti, Dane Lam, Nicola Luisotti, Gianluca Marcianò, Daniel Oren, Antonio Pappano, David Parry, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Jonathan Santagada, Maxime Tortelier and Mark Wigglesworth.
Her recordings include A Century of Song, Vol. 2 for Vivat, Rimsky-Korsakov Romances for Stone Records (a Sunday Times ‘Album of the Week’), Songs by Scriabin for Decca’s complete piano anthology of his music and Woolf Works, now available on Opus Arte DVD.
Please note that this biography is not to be used for programmes. Current information is available on request.
Frasquita: Carmen / Royal Opera, London
“…Anush Hovhannisyan and Rachel Kelly stood out as a stellar Frasquita and Mercédès.”
Maria Stuarda / Stadttheater Klagenfurt
“…sings the title part with a wonderful round soprano, many facets of interpretation and the finest pianos, great intimacy, dramatic intensity and perfect coloratura.”
“Anush Hovhannisyan captivated until Maria’s last breath with extraordinary presence, sensual charisma and a glowing soprano.”
Anitra: Peer Gynt / Philharmonia Orchestra
“Anush Hovhannisyan made a superbly impudent Anitra.”
Sitâ: Le Roi de Lahore / Chelsea Opera Group
“The Sitâ, hypnotically striking Armenian soprano Anush Hovhannisyan has already made a mark on the Royal Opera’s Jette Parker Young Artists Programme. She hurled out some thrilling top notes. What's more, the voice has rare individuality; it will be exciting to hear it develop.”
The Arts Desk
“Anush Hovhannisyan was a splendid Sitâ. She has a lovely warm, open tone, with a smoky lower register. Her big solo comes in Act V, having fled the bridal chamber for the temple, and she sang this with confidence and dramatic urgency.”
“As Sitâ, Anush Hovhannisyan’s voice could feel rich and vibrant, and yet also smoky and spiritual.”
“Anush Hovhannisyan has a lovely spinto-ish sounding voice, richly lyrical but with just a nice edge to it. She brought out the character's sultry intensity, and in the two long scena's Massenet gives her we really heard how she combined musical intelligence with a strong sense of character and a superb feel for the shape of the music. Massenet needs to seduce without getting too saccharine, and Hovhannisyan got it just right, as well as looking every in the part too.”
“Hovhannisyan is a commanding presence and sings with a gleaming tone; yet she can be expressive and genuinely affecting”
Seen and Heard International
“As Sitâ, Anush Hovhannisyan’s already glamorous soprano proved excitingly temperamental as the evening progressed.”
Rimsky-Korsakov: Romances / Stone CD
“A gorgeous feast of Rimsky-Korsakov’s neglected Romances, rich in melody and colour. The two terrific, impassioned young singers are ones to watch.”
BBC Music Magazine
“With the exception of The Nightingale and the Rose, Rimsky’s art songs are less well known than they deserve, so it is astute of Stone to present two rising young artists in a disc entirely devoted to these beautiful Romances. The Armenian Hovhannisyan wraps her bright, sensuous soprano around this famous number…
The Sunday Times
Amaltea: Mosè in Egitto / Chelsea Opera Group
“Pharaoh’s wife, Anush Hovhannisyan made a fine contribution with her Act Two aria, in duet with a clarinet; initially a touch brittle, her coloratura for the faster stretta was splendidly pure of tone and exact in tuning, making a striking impression.“
“Anush Hovhannisyan’s soprano was beautifully full, resonant and well-shaped, making her performance of ‘La pace mia smaritta’ a particular highlight…”
“As the Queen of Egypt, Amaltea, Anush Hovhannisyan illuminated her lines with subtle emphases, and, when the given the opportunity, laser-beam top notes…”
“Anush Hovhannisyan impressed with her command of the coloratura and highly expressive timbre...“
Lucilla: La scala di seta / Jette Parker Young Artists
“…how agreeable to encounter the Armenian soprano Anush Hovhannisyan in a role which gives free rein to her quicksilver voice and personality…”
“Anush Hovhannisyan is an impressive Lucilla, her voice capable of being as subtle as it is vibrant.”
“…the rich-toned Anush Hovannhisyan…”
Violetta: La traviata / Scottish Opera
“Throughout the night, the passion and power of Scottish Opera debutante (Anush) Hovhannisyan included a voice that shape-sifted from velvety richness to steely power with confident gymnastics and high notes to die for along the way.“
The Northern Times
"It is not every day - nor every month, not even every year - that you can say "a new Violetta is born." Yes, yes, up-and-coming sopranos are constantly taking on the challenge of Verdi's tragic heroine all over the world, but of how many can you instantly say "she is a born interpreter of the role?" On the evidence of her first performance in Glasgow - actually the fourth night of David McVicar's 2008 staging - it can unquestionably be said of Anush Hovhannisyan. The Armenian soprano, a graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme, has the coloratura, the musical intelligence, the rock-solid technique, the evenness throughout an ample vocal range, the dramatic versatility, the imposing but graceful physique - and indeed the pathos. She even knows how to 'speak' the Italian text, so much so that that the simple word 'Si' resonates with meaning."
“…this was a performance of astonishing maturity with no obvious difficulties either vocally or dramatically. She fitted into the ensemble with complete confidence. Violetta should remain a centrepiece of her repertoire for some time to come.”
“Anush Hovhannisyan sweeps all before her with her bright, lyric soprano and tall, handsome figure. She’s helped by David Parry’s stylish, Italianate conducting, but I’d hazard that this was a “star is born” moment for the young Armenian.”
The Sunday Times
Betrothal and Betrayal / Jette Parker Young Artists
“…Anush Hovhannisyan’s finely-spun interpretation, both accurate and dramatically intense, of Amelia’s aria…”
Decades, A Century of Song – Volume 2 / Vivat CD
“Anush Hovhannisyan brings vitality and personality to Glinka…”
BBC Music Magazine
“New to me were the Glinka Songs, whose mix of Italianate bel canto lyricism and Russian melancholy is thrillingly caught by the flame-toned Armenian soprano Anush Hovhannisyan…”
Decades, A Century of Song – Volume 2
Sarah Connolly, John Mark Ainsley, Luis Gomes, Robin Tritschler,
Malcolm Martineau – Piano
Vivat CD VIVAT 114
Rimsky Korsakov Romances
Sergey Rybin – Piano
Stone Records CD 5060192780772
Scriabin Complete Works - Two Romances
Valentina Lisita - Piano
Decca CD 478 8168
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden / Koen Kessels
Opus Arte DVD OA 1282D / Blu Ray OABD 7247 D