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Gegham Grigoryan

Gegham Grigorian was an Armenian operatic tenor. Gegham Grigorian was born in Yerevan and graduated from Yerevan Komitas State Conservatory, the class of People's Artist of Armenia professor Sergei Danielyan. Grigorian made his first appearance on the big stage in 1971 at age 20, in 1972 he went to West Berlin to appear with solo concerts. In 1975 he made his debut at the National Theater of Opera and Ballet of Armenia in the role of Edgardo; this is followed by Saro, Sayat Nova, Count Almaviva, Faust. In the 1970s he was a famous singer in the former Soviet Union. In 1978 he took part in the competition of the School of Art in Milan at the theater La Scala and was one of the four lucky winners who were invited to qualify for this school. During his traineeship in Italy, he participated in several concerts. In "La Scala" Gegham Grigorian made his debut in the role of Pinkerton. After that performance, he signed a contract with the theater "La Scala" on the leading rols of the operas "Boris Godunov" and Tosca.

The performances were conducted by Claudio Abbado he was principal conductor of La Scala. "But politics interfered. The Mussorgsky opera was being staged by Yuri Lyubimov, the famous Moscow director-dissident in conflict with the government; the production was in rehearsals when the Soviet union Ministry of Culture asked Grigorian to cancel his participation. As the singer described it at the time - just after the first dress rehearsal - he refused, but when the authorities threatened him and his family he acquiesced an departed for Russia. Subsequently he was put on the so-called restricted artists list and not allowed to leave the Soviet Union for eight years" As written by The Telegraph on 30 March 2016: "In November that year, however, he turned up in Trieste, some 250 miles east of Milan, seeking political asylum, he was living in a refugee centre while his case was being considered, but within days had vanished, failing to turn up in Milan for his appearance in Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov on December 7."

In 1980, Virgilijus Noreika, artistic director of Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre invites Grigorian to work In Vilnius. There Grigorian worked with the famous conductor Jonas Alex, he sang in the operas "Eugene Onegin", "Don Carlos", "Boris Godunov," "La Traviata," "Madama Butterfly," "Rigoletto" and many others. Since 1989, at the invitation of Valery Gergiev he joined the Kirov Opera as the lead singer. Here Grigorian was a great success. In those years, the Mariinsky Theater just gained fame. Gegham Grigorian made a great contribution in the formation and establishment of company of soloists, that always marks with a sense of gratitude the chief conductor and artistic director Valery Gergiev; until now, in St. Petersburg and throughout Russia, opera fans remember the beautiful and dramatic voice and a magnificent performance of Gegham Grigorian. Since 1990 the Soviet Union was on the verge of collapse, Grigorian had the opportunity to travel to foreign countries. "When he did appear in the West – under the patronage of the conductor Valery Gergiev – he thrilled audiences at Covent Garden, where his portrayal of Lensky in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin was hailed as musical gold by critics, at the Metropolitan Opera, New York, where he gave a moving account of Herman in The Queen of Spades.

The critic Rodney Milnes declared him to be "one of today's great tenors", adding that in "Grigorian's Lensky you hear a century of Russian tenor tradition, inimitably plangent and expressive". After a concert performance of The Queen of Spades with the BBC Philharmonic in Manchester in 2004, The Daily Telegraph noted how Grigorian "invested every fibre of his being in the obsessed Hermann", while earlier The New York Times had declared that in the same role at the Met his "characteristic concentration produced frequent haunting moments"; the Soviet Union had started to disintegrate and Grigorian was now free to travel again. This stage of career of Grigorian began with debut at the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam in 1990, he sang leading roles in Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia, La Bohem and Lecouvreur operas and three years made his Royal Opera House debut in Eugene Onegin as Lensky. In 1995 he was a last-minute substitute for Luciano Pavarotti in Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera at Covent Garden, the same year in which he appeared in New York.

He returned to the Metropolitan Opera in 2002 as Count Bezukhov in Prokofiev’s War and Peace with Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Anna Netrebko, again under Gergiev. 20 years after disappearing from La Scala, Grigorian returned to the Italian opera house in 1998, singing in Mussorgsky’s Khovanshchina alongside Burchuladze under Gergiev, returning there in Verdi’s La Forza del Destino under Riccardo Muti in 1999. In 2000 he returned to Armenia as artistic director of the Yerevan Opera Theatre, a post he held for seven years. Grigoryan sang at concert halls. Royal Opera House, Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Teatro Colón Buenos Aires (“Fedora", "P

Keoma (film)

Keoma is a 1976 Italian Spaghetti Western film directed by Enzo G. Castellari and starring Franco Nero, it is regarded as one of the better'twilight' Spaghetti Westerns, being one of the last films of its genre, is known for its incorporation of newer cinematic techniques of the time and its vocal soundtrack by Guido & Maurizio De Angelis. After the American Civil War, ex-Union soldier Keoma Shannon, part-Indian and part-white, returns to his home town to find his half-brothers in alliance with a petty tyrant named Caldwell. Caldwell and his gang rule over the town with an iron fist. With the help of his father and George, an old Black friend, he vows revenge. Keoma shows compassion when he saves a pregnant woman from a group sent by Caldwell's group to be quarantined in a mine camp full of plague victims. Keoma is visited by the apparition of an older woman who saved him during the massacre of an Indian camp. While participating in the filming of 21 Hours at Munich, Franco Nero was approached by his longtime friend and collaborator Enzo G. Castellari and producer Manolo Bolognini on the proposition of appearing in a Spaghetti Western, despite dwindling demand for films of that genre.

At the time, no stories or scripts had been written - Nero and Bolognini did, decide to name their pet project Keoma, a Native American name that, according to Bolognini, meant'freedom'. Keoma was planned as a sequel to Sergio Corbucci's Django, which Bolognini co-produced; the original treatment was written by actor George Eastman and developed into a script by Mino Roli and Nico Ducci, neither of whom were experienced writers of Spaghetti Westerns. Roli and Ducci's screenplay arrived three days after shooting began and was thrown out by Castellari and Nero, unanimously believing that it was not appropriate for a Western. Castellari proceeded to rewrite the script on a daily basis throughout filming, taking suggestions from cast and crew members, as well as being influenced by the works of Shakespeare and Sam Peckinpah, among other sources. Most of the dialogue as it appears in the film was written by actor John Loffredo, although Nero contributed a substantial amount of his own lines, including his final exchange with "The Witch".

The film was shot over a period of eight weeks, with most principal photography being done at the Elios Studios in Rome, where Corbucci had filmed Django. The studio's set was in dire need of repair, which made it easier for Castellari to film as they did not have to redress the sets; the film was shot on location at Lago di Camposecco. Keoma premièred in Italy on November 25 1976, was considered a mild success in Italy at the time; the film grossed a total of 1,571,995,000 Italian lira in Italy on its theatrical release. It was released on Blu-ray by Mill Creek Entertainment as a double-feature with The Grand Duel utilizing a restored print; some countries promoted the film as a Django film. These included Germany. In the UK, the film was released in 1977 by Intercontinental Films as The Violent Breed, while Vadib Productions released the film in the United States as Keoma the Avenger in 1978. Spanish promotion for the film lists Sergio Leone as a producer which he is not credited with anywhere else.

In a contemporary review, the Monthly Film Bulletin reviewed a dubbed 85 minute version of the film. The review noted that the film was "too cut to follow its plot let alone its multiple Freudian undercurrents", but stated that "visually it has many impressive if conventional aspects", noting the introduction and various flash back scenes; the review praised Franco Nero as "endlessly enjoyable" and concluded that Keoma "is an effective reminder that the Italian Western was always formally more intriguing than its critics would have one believe."In a retrospective review, AllMovie gave the film four stars out of five, referred to the film as one of the "finest efforts" of the Spaghetti Western genre. The review noted that the "plentiful gunplay is choreographed with balletic grandeur, the camera work is sweeping and lyrical" and Luigi Montefiore's script "is heavy with spiritual metaphor while still adhering to established Western tenets." AllMovie commented on the score as "the film's sole drawback", finding it "often tone-deaf".

List of Italian films of 1976 Keoma on IMDb