Welcome Back “Aghun”

Welcome Back “Aghun”: Honored actress comes home to revive most popular role

May 7, 2004
By Gayane Abrahamyan
ArmeniaNow arts reporter

After a 15-year absence from Yerevan stage, People’ s Artist of
Armenia Violet Gevorgyan returned last week to her signature role as
Aghun in Hrant Matevosyan’s “Our Corner of the Big World”. Fifteen
years later the actress on her own stage, in her own country.

Since the play was first staged in 1980, Gevorgyan has played the role some
700 times. Fifteen years from her last performance here, she says she hasn’t
forgotten a word or a gesture.

Theater critic and arts professor Henric Hovhannisyan once said Gevorgyan’s
performance “brought such a star down from the sky that this astounded
critic hasn’t and will never see.”

On the stage of the Theater of Young Audience she again brought down that
star this time even brighter and more colorful, welcomed by rousing

“I am extremely touched; I’m so touched that it’s difficult to play. It’s a
cruel challenge to be away for so many years from your own stage, your own
country, your own audience,” Gevorgyan said.

Gevorgyan gave three nights of performance before returning to her home in
the United States. She moved there in 1990, amid various speculations over
why she left Armenia.

Actor Levon Tukhikyan said the honored actress “simply escaped from here
because she was terribly insulted, they wouldn’t give her any roles because
of human envy.”

The 60-year old actress neither clarified that bitter page of her life then
nor now.

“I left to return, and understand how much I love this soil and water,” she

After starting her career at age 24, Gevorgyan played more than 20 roles in
the Hrachya Ghaplanyan Drama Theater. Her first starring spot was the lead
in “The Diary of Anne Frank”. But it was her bittersweet character Aghun
with whom Gevorgyan would become most identified.

“Violet appeared like a bright star and kept on amazing,” said People’s
Artist Sos Sargsyan. The actor says he’s seen many of Gevorgyan’s
performances as Aghun “and I can say sincerely that intonations of Violet’s
voice are still in my head.”

Violet Gevorgyan and the brother of Hrant Matevosyan, Hrachya Matevosyan.
The actress was invited by the Tekeyan Cultural Union and the performance
was staged in Tekeyan Company headed by State Prize Winner of Republic of
Armenia Artashes Hovhannisyan. After Violet Gevorgyan leaves her role will
be taken over by actress Hasmik Aslanyan.

Aslanyan says it’s hard to play a role in which the audience has already
identified Gevorgyan as her hero Aghun.

“I know that when watching me play I shall always be compared with the
perfect performances of Violet,” says Aslanyan.

Director Artashes Hovhannisyan recalls the 1980s with nostalgia, when
everyone was speaking about the “Autumn Sun” (as the performance is known)
and today he confesses that he was very concerned about the rebirth of the

“I’m not exaggerating but I’ve spent several sleepless nights thinking how
it will be accepted today after the stunning success it had once,” says

According to theatre critic Varsik Grigoryan the returning of “Autumn Sun”
and Violet Gevorgyan proves that high art has a mysterious power of rebirth.

“I have seen many actors but I haven’t seen such performing,” Grigoryan
says. “My words are not enough to express how skilled she is.”