Armenia 2015: get to know Genealogy’s fifth member
YEREVAN, ARMENIA – “Genealogy” will represent Armenia in the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest. Out of six members in the group, we are pleased to announce that Mary-Jean O’Doherty Vasmatzian, an Armenian-Australian opera singer will be the fifth participant – representing continent Australia.
Mary-Jean’s stunning and crystal clear voice of coloratura soprano filled many famous Opera Houses. It was because of her mother’s Armenian education that Mary-Jean was encouraged to study dance, flute and singing. Being proud of her Armenian roots and origin she was inspired by Armenian composer, singer, musicologist and priest Komitas. A more in depth biography and images of Mary-Jean are attached to this E-mail.
Armenian Public TV Company has announced earlier that “Genealogy” will be uniting the new generation of Armenians spread throughout five continents (Europe, Asia, America, Africa, and Australia) around the world by building bridges. The group consists of six artists with Armenian origin – 6 destinies with 1 story.
The first announced member of “Genealogy” was Armenian-French singer Essai Altounian; representing continent Europe, the second one was Armenian-American singer Tamar Kaprelian; representing continent America, the third one was Armenian-Ethiopian singer Vahe Tilbian; representing continent Africa, and the fourth one was Armenian-Japanese singer Stephanie Topalian; representing continent Asia.
GET TO KNOW
Mary-Jean O’Doherty Vasmatzian’s stunning and crystal clear voice of coloratura soprano filled many famous Opera Houses. Mary-Jean was born in Houston, Texas (USA) to an Armenian-Greek mother and an Australian father. Her mother Eliza Vasmatzian studied art with Maestro Sebouh Abcarian, as well as sang in his choir and studied music with Vahan Bedelian. Being proud of her Armenian roots and origin Mary-Jean was inspired by famous Armenian composer, singer, musicologist and priest Komitas; it was because of her mother’s Armenian education that Mary-Jean was encouraged to study dance, flute and singing. Pursuing studies at North Carolina School of the Arts and East Carolina University Mary-Jean has received her Bachelor of Music degree in Voice and Flute performance as well as Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 2005. She won the ABC Symphony Australia Young Vocalist Award in 2007. Studying singing in Sydney Australia with world-renowned soprano Arax Mansourian in 2008 Mary-Jean O’Doherty was the first recipient of the Australian International Opera Award to study at the Cardiff International Academy of Voice, directed by the international tenor Dennis O’Neill. While at the Academy of Voice she performed the role of Carolina in Il Matrimonio Segreto in Barga, Italy and the role of The Queen of the Night in Opera’r Ddraig’s production of Die Zauberflöte in Cardiff. In 2010, Mary-Jean performed the role of Naiad and covered the role of Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos for Welsh National Opera. She was also a finalist in the 10th Jaume Aragall Singing Competition in Sabadell, Spain. In 2011 she performed the title role of Lucia in Prague State Opera’s production of Lucia di Lammermoor, and played the role there the following season. Mary-Jean was a finalist in the Stuart Burrows International Vocal Competition in 2011 and in Australia; she sang the role of Galatea in Pacific Opera’s production of Franz von Suppé’s Gorgeous Galatea in Sydney and was Young Heidi in Stephen Sondheim’s Follies in Melbourne for The Production Company. Mary-Jean debuted at the Royal Albert Hall, London, in 2011 singing in Raymond Gubbay’s Classical Spectacular concert and in 2012 took a young artist residency with the Opera Theater of St. Louis. That included the role of Alice in the American premiere of Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland. In 2013 Mary-Jean performed the Title Role in Lulu for Welsh National Opera. She sang the role of Antonia in The Tales of Hoffmann for Opera Project, Vassal Lady in Götterdämmerung at the Longborough Festival, and Anne Page in The Merry Wives of Windsor for Burry Port Opera.In 2013 Mary-Jean won the first prize in Paris Opera Awards. She won The Mathy Award, and sung in the final concert with the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra conducted by Maestro Richard Bonynge. The rich list of her performances include the Maid in Thomas Adès’ Powder her face for English National Opera, the role of Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail for the Tel Aviv Vocal Arts Institute, Despina in Così fan tutte and Marzelline in Fideliofor Tyrol Festival Erl. In the year of 2015, Mary-Jean will be presenting Armenia in Vienna at the 60th Eurovision Song Contest along with 5 other talented artists, all with Armenian background. Currently she is actively involved in the preparation process of the first Semi-Final of the prestigious concert that will take place on May 19.