Ruzan Mantashyan & Numerous Musicians Form Artsakh Peace Festival

By Francisco Salazar

The Artsakh Peace Festival has been formed as a way to support the people of Artsakh, who are facing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis.

In a Facebook message by soprano Ruzan Mantashyan, the singer said, “120,000 people are kept under a total blockade for almost 8 months, under the threat of a real genocide. The people of Artsakh faced a devastating war three years ago. A war where thousands were killed, and tens of thousands fled their homes, leaving the villages and towns of their ancestors.”

She added, “The remaining part of Artsakh is now under a total siege by Azerbaijan. People who simply want to live in their ancestral land, in their own homes, are now deprived of mobility, receiving no medications, no food supply, no fuel, no baby food, nothing. What they get instead are the everyday threats from Azerbaijan, which shoots even at the agricultural machinery of the simple villagers who just want to get some food from their land. We, who have dedicated our lives to the beautiful and sublime art of music, want to share our best and most profound emotions with them. We want to play and sing for the people of Artsakh to bring HOPE back. We, as musicians, are deprived of our right to play for our audience in Artsakh, too. Just as in COVID times, when people were isolated from each other, now in this open world, we are forced to use the internet to reach our audience in Artsakh.”

The soprano noted that the new festival is “a virtual Festival that is designed to spread the word about the besieged people, to break the wall of silence, to make our voices the voice of Artsakh.”

She concluded her message by stating, “Help open the Road of Life. Spread the word. Together let’s be worthy of the high art of music that we are gifted.”

Mantashyan is an Armenian soprano who has performed worldwide in such theaters as Komische Oper Berlin, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Glyndebourne, Royal Opera House- London, and Wiener Staatsoper.