Isabel Bayrakdarian Biography
Isabel Bayrakdarian is an Armenian-Canadian operatic soprano ,born on February 1, 1974 . Born in Zahlé, Lebanon, into an Armenian family, she moved to Canada as a teenager. Bayrakdarian graduated in 1997 from the University of Toronto with an honours B.A.Sc. in Engineering Science,Biomedical Engineering Option.
Isabel Bayrakdarian Career
Bayrakdarian is noted as much for her stage presence as for her musicality, and she has followed a unique career path. Since winning first prize at the 2000 Operalia International Opera Competition founded by Plácido Domingo, she has launched an international opera career, appearing at the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera House, La Scala, Opéra National de Paris, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Salzburg Festival, Dresden Semperoper, Bavarian State Opera, San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and the Canadian Opera Company among others.
Her roles have included Euridice in Orfeo ed Euridice, Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare, Romilda in Serse, Emilia in Flavio, Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Pamina in The Magic Flute, Rosina in The Barber of Seville, Marzelline in Fidelio, Adina in L’elisir d’amore, Norina in Don Pasquale, Leila in Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers, Teresa in Benvenuto Cellini, Mélisande in Pelléas et Mélisande, the Vixen in The Cunning Little Vixen, Blanche in Dialogues of the Carmelites, and Catherine in William Bolcom’s A View from the Bridge.
Her concert schedule includes appearances with the Chicago, Montreal, Toronto, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco symphony orchestras, Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, and the National Arts Centre Orchestra, singing under the baton of such conductors as Seiji Ozawa, James Conlon, David Zinman, Michael Tilson Thomas, Christoph von Dohnányi, Christoph Eschenbach, Colin Davis, Andrew Davis, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Mariss Jansons, Leonard Slatkin, James Levine, Peter Oundjian and Richard Bradshaw.
Bayrakdarian is the subject of a film entitled A Long Journey Home that documents her first trip to Armenia. A major North American tour by Bayrakdarian in October 2008 featured the music of Komitas Vardapet with concerts in Toronto, San Francisco, Orange County, Vancouver, Toronto, Boston and New York’s Carnegie Hall. She was accompanied by the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra conducted by Anne Manson, and pianist Serouj Kradjian. This Remembrance Tour was dedicated to victims of all genocides and was sponsored by the International Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (a division of Zoryan Institute).
Isabel Bayrakdarian Recordings
Isabel’s first recording, titled Joyous Light was released in March 2002 and rose to No. 1 in the Canadian classical charts. Soon afterwards, her vocals were featured in Atom Egoyan’s film Ararat, and in the movie The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers in the track “Evenstar”.
Since then she has won four consecutive Juno Awards for “Classical Album of the Year – Vocal or Choral Performance” for the following recordings: Azulão (Bluebird), an album featuring Spanish and Latin American songs (2004); Cleopatra, featuring arias sung by the character Cleopatra from operas by Handel, Carl Heinrich Graun, Johann Adolph Hasse and Johann Mattheson (2004); Pauline Viardot: Lieder Chansons Canzoni Mazurkas, (2006); and Mozart: Arie e Duetti with fellow Canadians Russell Braun and Michael Schade (2007). In late 2007, Tango Notturno, a collection of tango songs, was released on CBC Records.
Isabel Bayrakdarian Filmography
- Opera Night at Cologne (2005)
- Handel: Serse (2005)
- A Long Journey Home (2005)
- Mozart: Don Giovanni. Live from Salzburg (2006)
- Great Performances at the Met: The Magic Flute (2007)
- Opera Under the Stars. Live in Ottawa at LeBreton Flats Park with the Canadian Opera
- Company (2007)
- The Time Traveler’s Wife
Isabel Bayrakdarian Personal life
In 2004 she married pianist Serouj Kradjian. They live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, with their son, Ari, and their daughter, Leah.