Mezzo-soprano Arminè Kassabian made her Pacific Opera Victoria debut in 2014 as the Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos. She returns in 2015 as Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, a role she performed in 2014 with Opera Lyra Ottawa.
Arminè has taken the opera scene by storm with a first place win at the 2011 Brian Law Opera Competition, the 2012 Prix Lyrique Hariclea Darclée-Michel Buruiana with Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques, and second place in the 2012 New Jersey Verismo Opera Association Competition. She was a finalist at the Riccardo Zandonai International Competition in Italy in 2012, and, as a 2012 Laureate of les Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques, she performed highlights from Carmen in China.
Opera engagements for the 2013-2014 season include a recital at Festival Opéra Saint Eustache, Mercédès in Carmen with Opera Lyra Ottawa, Ruth in The Pirates of Penzance with Opera Lyra Ottawa Studio, and Suzuki in Madama Butterfly with Opera Lyra. Other recent engagements include La fille de joie in Evangeline with l'Opéra-Théâtre de Rimouski and a recital with Les Concerts Ponticello.
In the 2011-2012 season, Arminè joined the Opera Lyra Studio Young Artist Development program, and appeared with Jeunesse Musicales Canada, Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques, Hebei Silang Performing Arts Ltd., Opera Brasov, Green Mountain Opera Festival, Festival Opéra Saint Eustache, and Opera McGill. Role highlights include Hänsel in Humperdinck's Hänsel und Gretel; Carmen in La Tragédie de Carmen; Mère-Marie in Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites; Sister of Mercy in Colin Doroschuk's Evangeline, Ruggiero in Handel's Alcina ,and First Witch in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, Dorabella in Mozart's Così fan tutte, Carmen and Mercédès with Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques, Cinderella in La Cenerentola ,and Rosie in The Barber of Bytown with Opera Lyra's Studio educational adaptation.
On the concert stage Arminè is active in both Oratorio and Recital. Highlights include Bach's St. Matthew Passion and Magnificat and Vivaldi's Gloria with the Cantabile Chorale, and Handel's Messiah with the CAMMAC Gatineau-Ottawa Choir under the baton of Maestro Louis Lavigueur. As a recitalist, she has performed with Music and Beyond Festival and Ottawa Chorale Society, Festival expressions artistiques d'ici et d'ailleurs, Les Concerts Ponticello, and the Cultural Society of Armenians of Istanbul. Arminè had the privilege of performing in master classes at the Centre d'arts Orford, Green Mountain Opera Festival and Opera Lyra with Edith Bers, Michael McMahon, Chantal Lambert, Sanford Sylvan, John Fanning, Kathryn LaBouff, Tyrone Paterson, Peter Strummer, and others. Arminè holds an Artist Diploma, M.Mus and B.Mus from the Schulich School of Music of McGill University.
And the Composer – my goodness! It was astonishing that so petite a singer could produce so voluminous and luscious a tone. The Canadian mezzo Arminè Kassabian was making her role and company debut, and I cannot imagine any way in which her performance could have been improved upon ... this is a young singer with a talent so exciting that I am sure she has a major career ahead of her.
Bernard Jacobson, Seen and Heard International, Review of Pacific Opera Victoria's Ariadne auf Naxos, 2014
Particular mention should be made of Arminč Kassabian as Suzuki. She has a wonderful voice and is very compelling as Cio Cio San's steadfast confidant and friend.
Jim Murchison, Charlebois Post, Review of Madama Butterfly, Opera Lyra Ottawa, 2014
Below, Arminè Kassabian performs Una voce poco fa from Rossini's The Barber of Seville.