June 26, 2019

Aznavour 95’s Anniversaire by Armenia

By Tereza Neuwirthova. 

On Monday 27th May, friends from the diplomatic community were invited by H.E. Mr. Tigran Balayan, the Ambassador of Armenia together with Diplomat Magazine to celebrate the 95th anniversary of the birth of the legendary French-Armenian singer and diplomat Charles Aznavour. Many ambassadors, judges from the international courts and international organizations sitting in The Hague together with the Armenian diaspora attended the event.

The celebratory concert followed by a reception took place at the Gymnasium Haganum in The Hague, which was an ideal venue for this event with its monumental hallways and a spacious auditorium.

Here you can see here below Aznavour short film by his son Nicolas: https://mab.to/nTLAdSIXc

Aznavour’s 95 Anniversary by the Embassy of Armenia and Diplomat Magazine.

H.E. Mr. Ambassador Tigran Balayan opened the evening with his speech dedicated to Aznavour, a man of great honour with whom Mr. Balayan luckily had the chance to meet many times in his life.

During his speech, Mr. Ambassador also mentioned the great achievement of Armenia, the presidency of the International Organisation of la Francophonie from 2018 until 2020. To end his speech by stressing the deep and valued relationship of Armenia and la Francophonie, Mr. Ambassador used a quote by Charles Aznavour who said: 

“I am 100% French and 100% Armenian.” 

Dominique Peters, President of L’Amité-Club de La Haye.

Following Mr. Ambassador’s speech, the moderator of the evening, Ms. Dominique Peters, President of L’Amité-Club de La Haye, presented a vibrant tribute to the genius Charles Aznavour:

“He was not only an Ambassador of the Song and an Ambassador of la Francophonie,  which he had made one of his priorities, but also the Ambassador of Armenia in Switzerland.”

The testimonial by Ms. Peters, which underlined the recognition for the many faces and contributions of Charles Aznavour, continued:

“A lyricist, composer, singer and actor-interpreter, he was a genius of French poetry and one of the greatest artists of the twentieth century. A realistic singer, he sang about life, love, nostalgia, as well as time passing: themes that invite reflection.”

Aznaband boys during the concert.

“Charles Aznavour was also one of the most symbolic representatives of the Armenian Diaspora with his flag bearer: “We start Armenian, we end humanist,” what he used to say. Deeply humanistic, he has devoted himself to full commitment to society as Permanent Delegate to UNESCO and to the United Nations Office.”

“Moreover, we cannot forget his filmography which includes more than 80 feature films, made by some of the biggest names in French cinema, where he depicts almost all the characters going from one emotion to another.”

H.E. Philippe Couvreur, Registrar at the International Court of Justice and H.E. Mr. Amgad Ghaffar, Ambassador of Egypt.

Thereafter, the concert was opened by the talented Armenian pianist, Arayik Mirzoyan, who played Pour toi Arménie, a song written by Charles Aznavour and Georges Gavarentz in 1989, and devoted to help victims of an earthquake tragedy that happened in Armenia the previous year. 

Following was another musical performance of two of Aznavour’s pieces performed by a five-boys Aznaband chore from the Lycée Français Vincent van Gogh, accompanied by their pianist teacher Ms. Helene Perrotin. This ensemble performed the songs Emmenez-moi as well as Hier encore, which were followed by a great applause from the audience. 

A cake for Aznavour’s anniversary.

A subsequent point of the evening programme was a captivating ten-minute video collage about the life of Charles Aznavour, which was produced by his son Mr. Nicolas Aznavour and displayed the genius with his many faces and roles that he took up during his life.

Following the video projection was the last musical piece by Charles Aznavour, the famous La Bohème, a song which was performed by a talented Armenian lawyer and singer Vardgues Khanjaryan that travelled from Brussels to attend, and his brilliant performance marked the highlight of the evening programme.

Armenian lawyer and singer, Vardgues Khanjaryan.

After the concert a reception took place, at which Armenian wines together with other delicacies, as well as a colossal cake with the figure of Charles Aznavour made by the Armenian community, were served to the guests.

During the reception, Aznavour’s songs were played by a duo of piano and contrabass Guillaume Marcenac while the guests were chatting about the spectacle and enjoying the great wines as well as company.

Ambassador Balayan with the boys of Aznaband.

The celebration of the 95th Anniversary that honoured the great Charles Aznavour, organised by the Armenian Embassy in collaboration with Diplomat Magazine, marked another pleasurable evening for the diplomatic community of The Hague.

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