Lianna Haroutounian

Soprano

Biography

Armenian soprano Lianna Haroutounian has quickly established herself as one of the world’s leading interpreters of Verdi and Puccini.

In the 2016-2017 season, Haroutounian returns to the Royal Opera House to reprise Leonora in Il Trovatore and to the Teatro Real as Desdemona in David Alden’s production of Otello. At the San Francisco Opera, she sings Madama Butterfly, a role with which she will also make her debuts at the Seattle Opera and the Staatsoper Hamburg.

The 2015-2016 season saw Haroutounian star as Leonora in David Bösch’s new production of Il Trovatore at the Royal Opera House and as Amelia in an acclaimed revival of Simon Boccanegra opposite Placido Domingo and conducted by James Levine at the Metropolitan Opera. She also sang Mimì in La bohème at Opera Australia, Melbourne. Haroutounian’s concert work included the title roles of Madama Butterfly with the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest, Adriana Lecouvreur at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, and Iolanta with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra.

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Reviews

“No one could say that the splendor of Haroutounian’s artistry — the shimmery firmness of her sound, the voluptuous swell and fall of her vocal phrasing, the intensity and grandeur of her stage presence — came as any kind of surprise.”

Joshua Kosman

San Francisco Chronicle

“As Leonora, Lianna Haroutounian reveals the most sumptuous yet sensitive soprano in ‘Di tale amor’ and imbues her pleasingly elegant movement with just the right level of charge.”

Sam Smith

OMH

More Reviews

Madama Butterfly, San Francisco Opera 2016

“No one could say that the splendor of Haroutounian’s artistry — the shimmery firmness of her sound, the voluptuous swell and fall of her vocal phrasing, the intensity and grandeur of her stage presence — came as any kind of surprise.”

Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle

“The Madama Butterfly of Armenian soprano Lianna Haroutounian may well become recognized as the Butterfly of our time, indeed one of the great Butterflies of all times…Mlle. Haroutounian still does not exude the complexities of a diva and this brings the sheen of innocence to her Butterfly that makes it operatically true. The purity of voice that casts her as the unstained Verdi heroine, and the security of her vocal technique sustain the youth and stamina of the 18-year-old Butterfly. The strength and beauty of tone throughout the role’s range underscore the moral certitude of this simple and courageous geisha. The excited Saturday night audience understood and felt the gravity of Butterfly’s strength and innocence, and awarded Mlle. Haroutounian an ovation the size of which I have never before witnessed in the War Memorial Opera House.”

Michael Milenski, Opera Today

“As Cio-Cio-San, the lovestruck Japanese teen whose sham marriage to an American serviceman ends in tragedy, the soprano inhabits the role completely and decisively, tracing the character’s arc from shy hopefulness to utter despair. The role’s gleaming high notes and poignant utterances are hers to command, and she made the most of them throughout this revival.

Mining the deep vein of emotionalism in Puccini’s soaring score, her voluptuous, artfully shaded vocalism and delicately nuanced characterization added up to a gripping portrayal, and her expressive singing in the role’s great set pieces, including the timeless Act II aria, “Un bel di,” was nothing short of brilliant.”

Georgia Rowe, The Mercury News

Il Trovatore, Royal Opera House, July 2016

“As Leonora, Lianna Haroutounian reveals the most sumptuous yet sensitive soprano in ‘Di tale amor’ and imbues her pleasingly elegant movement with just the right level of charge.”

Sam Smith, OMH

“Haroutounian sings with grace, charm and real refinement.”

Stephen Pritchard, The Guardian

La Boheme, Opera Australia, May 2016

Haroutounian has attracted rave reviews for her recent performances at major houses such as the Metropolitan Opera and the Royal Opera and it was soon plain to see why. When she soared to her first high note in the opening act, the Wow! factor was enough to make the most reluctant opera goers sit up and pay attention, convinced that they had got their money’s worth. Smooth, generous and glowing at the top of the range, clear and attractive in the middle and with enough weight to give the dark passion of “grande come il mare… profunda” its oceanic depth in Mimì’s final aria, her spectacular voice alone merits full houses. The enthusiastic applause and bravos at the end of her first aria came as no surprise.

Heather Leviston, Classic Melbourne

Simon Boccanegra, Metropolitan Opera, April 2016

“Haroutounian began with a simple and attractive luminosity and then, throughout the performance, added increasing levels of musical and emotional depth—she guided the dramatic direction of the performance as much as [Placido] Domingo. Her high notes, sung with as rich, rounded, and clear tone as everything else, were prominent, but the way she shaped her lines, building to climaxes, was scintillating.”

George Grella, New York Classical Review

“Haroutounian is making only her second appearance at the Met – she debuted last season in Don Carlo – and she is a thrilling addition to the roster. She has a lilting and silvery voice, full of joy, that climbs effortlessly to the upper registers.”

Willborn Hampton, The Huffington Post

“The soprano Lianna Haroutounian, as Amelia, boasted a big, plush, youthful voice…throbbing intensity filled every phrase.”

Anthony Tommassini, New York Times

Tosca, San Francisco Opera, October 2014

“But Haroutounian’s Tosca, unveiled at the War Memorial Opera House in the course of a traditional but largely effective revival, was more than just a virtuoso display of vocal prowess. It was a dramatic depiction of a woman for whom that artistry was essential to her very character.”

Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Gate

Otello, Teatro di San Carlo, Naples, April 2014

Lianna Haroutounian was at her finest in an intense conception of the role. Her Desdemona complemented Otello’s disturbed temperament, with a convincing interpretation of a young bride, chaste and naïve, who reacts audaciously to her husband’s false charges, at the beginning of Act III. Her “Willow Song” and the Ave Maria were beautifully sung. Haroutounian’s rich, full tones produced such tender pain and prayerful compassion that she created a real empathy with the audience.

Lorenzo Fiorito, Bachtrack

 

Les Vêpres Siciliennes, Royal Opera House, October 2013

Lianna Haroutounian was equally impressive as Hélène, particularly as she had only stepped into the part after the original choice dropped out. The role places huge demands on the voice of the singer, stretching both higher and lower than most soprano parts but Haroutounian was fully up to them.

William Hartston, The Express

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