A little more than 10 years ago, in the serene town of Ninotsminda, Georgia, we discovered Anna Gharslyan, a wonderful young girl with a voice of gold. Located in the Javaghk region of Georgia, populated mostly by Armenians, Anna and her sister Manushak were avid music students. A few years later the Atken Armenian Foundation took Anna under their wing and provided funds for English and French lessons, and travel to Yerevan for more advanced voice lessons. Manushak received piano lessons in Armenia to prepare for auditions.
They both finally moved to Yerevan so that they could continue their music full-time. Manushak is now a top student at the Khachatur Abovian Armenian State Pedagogical University (piano performance) and Anna was continuing privately with teachers, such as Ofelya Hambardzumyan, and several memorable lessons with Hasmik Papian, the revered Artistic Director of our summer music program, the Zartonk Academy. None of this would have been possible without the enduring support of the Misakyan family from Toronto, particularly through the Haig & Virginia Misakyan Prize they set up with us several years ago.
Fast forward to 2022... Anna received a life-altering invitation from the AAF to commence studies in Canada with Aline Kutan. Getting the Visa was a long process, but finally, good news came and this September 2023, Anna was given the green light to come study in Canada under the auspices of the AAF! Aline, who is a longtime supporter and board member of the AAF and one of the top voice teachers in Canada, graciously and wholeheartedly took Anna under her wing. Offering an unparalleled learning experience, Ms. Kutan decided that the best way forward would be for Anna to stay at her home and ''tag along'' to every lesson she gives to the dozens of excellent students she has at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal and McGill University. This arrangement also allows Anna to receive several private lessons herself every week.
At 20 years old, Anna possesses a resplendent mezzo-soprano voice, and with the guidance of Aline Kutan and the AAF's unwavering commitment to her development, her trajectory toward an illustrious international opera career seems inevitable. Anna's excellent work ethic, musicianship, and beautiful voice under the direction of Aline Kutan, we are certain, will take her to the major opera stages of the world!
A heartfelt acknowledgment to Virginia Misakyan (Haig sadly passed away in 2019) and her sons Daron and Hagop, who continue to champion young talents like Anna, ensuring that dreams transcend boundaries and talents find their stage!
October 2023, Anna arrives in Montreal!
Visiting the Misakyan's in Toronto (Van Armenian, Daron Misakyan, Aline Kutan, Liana Armenian, Virginia Misakyan, and Anna Gharslyan!)
Summer 2019, Aline and Anna meet for the first time at our Zartonk Academy in Vanadzor, Armenia
In 2017 we sent Anna to Pesaro, Italy and Batumi, Georgia for masterclasses with renowned soprano Nino Lezhava
Anna started winning competitions already at a young age!
Artistic pose ;)
When we first met Anna at 9 years of age!