- Independent Journalism From Today's Armenia
 February 7, 2003 

Stage Life: Honored actor has known 50 years of success

The art of actor Khoren Abrahamyan is the conscience of his soul.

"I can't cheat on the stage, I don't tolerate fault and sham in art," he says.

The heroes he embodied describe the real side of life - with controversy of human failure and strength - like a mirror.

Khoren Abrahamyan's path to stage art was made still in childhood; the imagination that soared in dreams could become reality only in theatre.

"For a person with deep imagination the theatre is the best way," says the great actor. "Today you are king; tomorrow, servant. One day you're kind; another day, evil."

Everything turned at a fairy-tale speed in his life. He was only 17, when after entering the Arts Theatre Institute he soon started to work at Sundukyan Academic Theatre. At that time actors like Vahram Papazyan, Hrachya Nersisyan, Avet Avetisyan, Vagharsh Vagharshyan and others played at that theatre.

"Alongside with such names playing a secondary role was already a great experience," remembers the actor with regard. "No one becomes an actor only by learning, one should feel the smell of stage, one should make mistakes on the stage, as it is another world."

Bass, calm voice of Khoren Abrahamyan, his deep look under bushy eyebrows and manly manners that correspond to characters of many heroes combined with his innate theatre talent and created his individual character at an early age.

Having acted in several films Abrahamyan played the leading role of Arsen Varunts in "First Love Song". The next morning after screening of the film he woke up as a famous person. The film was being shown in the movie theatres of the Soviet countries for months.

The "First Love Song" put on by Laert Vagharshyan and Yuri Yerznkyan described a man with his inner world, with all his good and bad manifestations and lifts and falls. This story of fates meeting at difficult crossroads of life opened a new page in Abrahamyan's life.

"I couldn't easily walk in the streets, and if I happened to enter Moscow's huge TsUM or GUM (Central Department Store and State Department Store) the work simply stopped," the actor says laughing.

"I've always been asked how I could feel that role so ably. And I used to answer that there was nothing to play, it was enough to stand next to Hrachya Nersisyan and look at his eyes, he was so contagious, so warm that there was nothing left to play."

The film was created at times when production dominated, and suddenly against that background a singer appeared with his personal, family problems, quarrels, fight and love…

"For eight years I played in theatre mass scenes, and I think it's right, all actors must pass that path. But after the 'First Love Song' I stopped playing roles like those, as when I entered on the stage in an episodic or mass scene, the burst of applause stopped the course of the whole performance."

It was time for 24-year old Khoren Abrahamyan to enter on the scene with great roles.

Every performance with his participation turned into a festival for the whole town. His unique and fresh approaches as an actor and director gave new breath to the staging, as well as the Sundukyan Theatre. "Othello", "Sixty Years and Three Hours", "Towards the Future", "Unfinished Monologue", "The Dawns Were Peaceful Here", "The Criminal's Family", "Doctor Stockman", "Koriola", "The Legend of a Ruined Town", "How Difficult it is to Die" are some of the plays where he performed, most of which were staged by him.

Abrahamyan showed his great talent in theatre and films not only as an actor, but also as an interesting producer.

"When you have something to tell, you cannot be silent, you must create your imaginary phenomenon. Often while playing a role you can't stop helping your partner, give him a new direction, make him appear in a performance in a different way," says Abrahamyan. "Profession of a producer is chosen by an inspiration, it is not that one day you decide and become a producer."

Actor, producer, father of 4 children, grandfather and husband - it is difficult to mix all these in one person, but it is already 73 years since Khoren Abrahamyan has fully devoted himself to both art and family. His younger son is 12 years old. In his father's famous frowning and strict look he sees an endless love, warmth and a great ability to rejuvenate.

"I am not strict with my children, in my opinion you should require from them what you are perfectly able to do. The best upbringing is setting an example," he says. "But it is different with my Aram. I was a 60-year old grandfather when he was born. I always tell him one thing, 'Aram, I will pamper you, but you don't get spoiled'."

Today the actor lives with a fervor and energy of a young man in his heart. He doesn't stop creating. "I am always in a creative state, the only way to kill me is to deprive me of the opportunity to create."

In 1996 Khoren Abrahamyan staged Coburn's tragicomedy "Gin Game" and presented it for judgment not only to Armenian, but also Parisian and Pasadena's (USA) rigorous audience.

In opinion of a famous actor Karen Janibekyan it was a grand performance, "It was grand by its staging, artistic mastery and power of maintaining love in someone. Once more Khoren proved his greatness and full devotion."

"Gin Game" is a story of people living in an old people's home. There are dialogues, gambling and only two characters that raise the all-human topic. Heroes of the play - Martin Waller (Khoren Abrahamyan) and Fanshin Dorsy (Gohar Galstyan) made insane efforts to get free from bonds of loneliness. These abandoned old people found their salvation in an old people's home, found each other, found their love and proved that one can love at any age.

At the end of the performance people did not know whether to applaud the actors for the wonderful performance, or analyze their inner world one more time.

In 2001 Pertch Zeytuntyan's "Khor Virap" staged by Abrahamyan was accepted with the same longing and warmth.

For 50 years he has known fame and success from the stage. He has been named a People's Artist. But it is the applause from thousands of hands and the sincere devotion to his mission that are the true reward of half a century's work.


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  Photos of the week
  Photo of the week: Talk Time
Click on the photo above to enlarge

Photo of the week: Talk Time
Click on the photo above to enlarge

Ups and Downs of Campaign 2003

In the second week of campaigning, crowds turned out to cheer President Robert Kocharyan. And a crowd turned riotous at a rally for Aram Karapetyan, leaving MP Hayk Babukhanyan recovering from a stabbing.



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