2013 in Arts and Culture: Losses of legends; memorable performances

ARTS AND CULTURE | 30.12.13 | 12:04

Closing its doors the departing 2013 has taken with it into eternity
several prominent art figures, whose names will always remain in the
history of Armenian culture for their undeniable imprint - Hakob
Hakobyan, Sos Sarsyan, Azat Gasparyan, Gerard Cafesjian, Aramayis
Sahakyan, Vrezh Israyelyan, Levon Ananyan, Hrachya Berberyan, as well
as talented actors of younger generation Mark Saghatelyan and Yervand

On March 14, Armenia's `chief hedgehog', writer, satire, poet and
publicist Aramayis Sahakyan passed away, at age 76. He was a pan-USSR
music award winner for his song lyrics. His poetry has been translated
into many languages and his Vozni (`Hedgehog') satirical magazine
brought joy and laughter to hundreds of readers for many years.

Renowned Armenian painter Hakob Hakobian passed away March 9 of heart
attack, at age 89. Born in Egypt, Hakobian immigrated to Soviet
Armenia in 1962, where he later earned a `People's artist' title. `A
Woman Frying Fish', `Spring', `The Village of Malishka' are among the
artist's best paintings.

Vrezh Israelyan, a well-known writer and dramatist, was found dead in
his apartment on June 14. Terminally ill, Israelyan was found lying on
the couch in his living room with a fatal gunshot wound and a gun in
his right hand. A suicide note was found on the desk in the room in
which he thanked God for having `a good wife, a good son, good
grandchildren, brother and friends'.

On July 31, well-known Armenian actor-entertainer Mark Saghatelyan
died at the age of 41 after having suffered from acute leukemia.

On August 2, People's Artist of Armenia, multiple Soviet Armenia award
winner, honorable resident of Armenia, actor of cinema and theatre,
Azat Gasparyan died, aged 70.

President of the Writers' Union of Armenia Levon Ananyan died on
September 3, aged 66.According to reports in the media, Ananyan
suffered from cancer.

Gerard Cafesjian, a prominent Armenian benefactor, died on September
17, aged 88. Cafesjian founded the Cafesjian Family Foundation (CFF),
the Cafesjian Museum Foundation (CMF) and the Cafesjian Center for the

Prominent Armenian actor Sos Sargsyan, the `last Mohican' of his
generation of beloved actors, died on September 27, after long illness
at the age of 84.

Yervand Yengibaryan, a popular theater and cinema actor, was killed in
a car crash in Yerevan on October 21. The 30-year-old Stanislavski
Russian Theater actor, driving his Mercedes car, reportedly collided
with a lamp post and died on the spot.

On December 13, poet, member of Armenian Writers' Union Hrachya
Berberyan died of brain stroke, at the age of 61.

In 2013, two of Armenia's creative unions held congresses during which
new chairmen of those unions were elected.

On October 28, Aram Satyan, a candidate representing the `opposition'
wing of the Union of Composers and Musicologists of Armenia was
elected new chairman of the organization with 43 votes of fellow Union

Earlier, On October 21, poet and prose writer Edward Militonyan was
elected new chairman of the Armenian Writers' Union in the ballot that
was reportedly preceded by heated discussions.

A concert took place in Gyumri's Vardanants Square on June 30 during
which the 2013 CISCultural Capital certificate was handed to the city

World-renowned opera singer Montserrat Caballé paid a visit to Nagorno
Karabakh in early June before giving a concert in the Armenian capital
Yerevan later that month. Officials in Baku threatened to `black list'
the Spanish opera singer if she visited Karabakh which they claim to
be Azerbaijan's `occupied lands'.

The Spanish operatic soprano was received by Nagorno Karabakh Republic
President Bako Sahakyan, while days later the Opera House in Yerevan
was filled with her majestic voice.

Julio Iglesias, a well-known Spanish singer and songwriter, gave a
concert in the Armenian capital of Yerevan on March 18 as part of a
jubilee tour including some other post-Soviet countries.

The 10th International Golden Apricot Film Festival in Yerevan turned
the Armenian capital into one big cinema for one week, where film
masters visiting from different corners of the world present their
creations, both features and documentaries.

Since 2005, Night at the Museum event, the initiative of culture and
communications ministry of France, is held on the Saturday after the
International Museum Day, and this year 88 museums in Armenia joined
the project.

Armenia finished in 18th place in the 26-nation Eurovision final on
its seventh appearance in Europe's biggest pop music contest on May 18
held in Malmo. The winner of one of the world's most-watched events on
television this year was betting agencies' favorite Emmelie de Forest
from Denmark with her song `Only Teardrops'.

On November 30, Armenian representative Monica Avanesyan took 6th
place in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2013 held in Kiev,
Ukraine, on November 30. The 15-year-old singer presented the `Choco
Factory' song, an upbeat tune with lyrics in both Armenian and
English, which scored 69 points. The winner of the Junior Eurovision
2013 became Gaia Cauchi from Malta with the song `The Start', which
scored 130 points.

French-Armenian actor, director and producer Serge Avedikian's
re-staging of Tigranyan's famous `Anush' (or `Anouche' by French
spelling) opera performance first staged a century ago premiered in
Yerevan on April 26.

After its Yerevan premier, the opera has become `this spring's most
outstanding and much talked-about cultural event', just as the authors
had promised.

Film director Hrach Keshishyan's `Garegin Nzhdeh', dedicated to the
21st anniversary of the Armenian army, telling the story of national
hero, General Garegin Nzhdeh, his life and military path, received
controversial reactions. The film is a story of boundless love for
homeland, heroism, betrayal and disappointments, and also of
unbreakable will, endless faith and dreams.

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