Navasard Hakobyan was this year’s 3rd Prize Winner of the 2023 Operalia World Opera Competition, and his success extended beyond this achievement, as he also won the Don Plácido Domingo Ferrer Prize of Zarzuela. Besides his recent accomplishments on the competition stage, Navasard is a current studio member with Houston Grand Opera. His previous highlights include appearances with Yerevan Opera Theater and the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra.
In the current season, Navasard’s position as a young artist with Houston Grand Opera leads him to performances of Puccini’s Madama Butterly as Sharpless which will be his debut in the role. Between his commitments with the HGO Studio, he also looks forward to house and role debuts in the role of Gregorio in Romeo et Juliet with Dallas Opera. Looking further ahead, the baritone’s highlights include a house debut with Dresden Semperoper in the 2024-25 season.
Previous seasons’ highlights and roles include his role debuts with Yerevan Opera Theater as Silvio in I Pagliacci and as Germone in La traviata. He also performed as Antonio in Il viaggio a Reims with the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Mkrtich Babajanian. This collaboration with the Armenia State Symphony Orchestra continued in 2019, where he performed in concert at the New Names Festival, conducted by Harutyun Arzumanyan. Navasard has also sung in modern compositions such as the Julliard-commissioned Oedipus in the District by Joshua Getman, where he performed the role of Anchor in the original presentation. He has also enjoyed participating in masterclasses with Dale Findling of Teatr Wielki as well as Gevorg Hakobyan and Hovhannes Ayvazyan of the Honoured Artists of Armenia.
Winning the aforementioned awards at Operalia in 2023 have kickstarted Navasard’s promising career on the stages further afield than his home country, and he looks forward to an exciting few seasons ahead. But Navasard began his career in Armenia. Having graduated from the vocal studio of Armenian State Song Theater, and currently completing a Masters’ course at Yerevan Conservatory, Navasard’s talents have lead him to many performances in the concert halls and cultural centres of Armenia. Since 2018, he has also been a soloist of the Young Opera Singers Program of the Yerevan Opera Theater.
In 2019 he was awarded ‘Best Student of the Year’ from the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of RA. Aside from his recent success at Operalia, Navasard has been awarded numerous prizes and awards in recent years. Amongst these, notable awards include winning the Marlyn Horn Song Competitionat Music Academy of the West, 1st Prize of the Sofia Grand Prix International Festival in Bulgaria, 1st Prize of Da Serra sa Estrella International Festival in Portugal, the Bronze medal of CIS Delphic Games in Russia, 2nd Prize of International Festival Vyatskoye in Russia, 3rd Prize of Jose Carreras Grand Prix International Competition, and special prizes of Fiorenza Cedolins International Online Competition in Italy.