FRESNO — Paris-based musicians Aram and Virginia Kerovpyan are featured in the Fresno premiere of the film “Singing in Exile” at 7:30PM on Wednesday, May 1, 2019, in the University Business Center, Alice Peters Auditorium, Room 191 on the Fresno State campus. The presentation is part of the Armenian Studies Program Spring 2019 Lecture Series.
The film, a prize-winning documentary directed by Nathalie Rossetti & Turi Finocchiaro, follows Aram and Virginia Kerovpyan, a Diasporan Armenian couple, as they transmit an ancestral, endangered singing tradition to a troupe of European actors (Teatr Zar).
During the process of creating a new play, the couple takes the company on a trip to Asia Minor where the Armenian civilization has been destroyed. Along the way, the questioning of the actors brings to the forefront the wealth of this culture: singing becomes a language of creation and sharing, the breath of life.
The film touches subtly upon the Armenian Cause, showing the loss of the homeland and myriad folk and church traditions, while also leaving the viewer with the hope that these traditions can still be taught and can continue to nourish those who come into contact with them.
Virginia Pattie Kerovpyan was born in Washington, D.C. and moved to Paris in the 1970’s. She has performed and recorded with various early music ensembles, as well as contemporary music. Soloist of the Kotchnak and Akn ensembles, she has specialized in Armenian song since 1980.
Aram Kerovpyan was born in Istanbul, Turkey and learned to play the kanoun and studied the Near Eastern music system with Master musician Saadeddin Öktenay. Moving to Paris, he joined the Kotchnak ensemble, performing Armenian folk and troubadour music and in 1985, established the Akn ensemble specializing in Armenian liturgical chant. He holds a PhD in musicology and publishes about modal theory and history of Armenian liturgical music.
The film screening is free and open to the public. Parking is available in Fresno State Lots P6 and P5, near the University Business Center, Fresno State. A free parking code can be obtained by contacting the Armenian Studies Program.
For more information about the lecture please contact the Armenian Studies Program at 278-2669, visit our website at www.fresnostate.edu/armenianstudies or visit our Facebook page at @ArmenianStudiesFresnoState.