Less than a week remains till the start of the 55th Eurovision, and the Armenian team is already in Oslo, Norway, the venue of this year’s popular pan-European song contest. The first semifinal in the Norwegian capital is scheduled for May 25, followed by the second semifinal featuring the Armenia entry on May 27 and the grand finale on May 29.
Armenia representative Eva Rivas will present the song Apricot Stone, currently a leader on internet charts and an increasingly popular tune among listeners in and outside Armenia.
The song’s composer Armen Martirosyan, a well-known jazzman and conductor of the State Jazz Orchestra of Armenia, has shared with ArmeniaNow his impressions about the Armenian performer and expectations from the upcoming contest.
“Purely theoretically, Armenia has never been so close to victory as it is now,” says Martirosyan. “Her chances are quite high. The guarantee of success is in the ability to present the highly artistic work. As a professional musician, I find that the song is well ahead of all others both in terms of its contents and quality of material.”
The composer himself will join Team Armenia in Oslo on May 26 to take part in the final rehearsal and make his last-minute remarks.
Martirosyan speaks warmly about the performer of the song. He calls Eva Rivas a modest beauty who is very easy to work with.
“Working with her is as easy as pie. You can yell at her, scold her. She’s got no arrogant attitudes, at the same time she has an extraordinary will for victory. Perhaps it all comes down to her genes. That she has Russian and Greek blood in her in addition to Armenian only supports my idea that our people has long been in need of a little bit of mixed blood,” Martirosyan says.
Martirosyan says Armenia has already scored her first victory – beating stereotypes. For it is the first time that a Diaspora person, 22-year-old Rivas from Rostov-on-Don, Russia, will represent Armenia at Eurovision.
The author of the lyrics, Karen Kavaleryan, is also an Armenian from Russia, who has translated into the song the history of his life and nostalgia that an apricot pit symbolizes.
Next to Rivas on stage as backing vocal will perform Mariam Mehrabova, a promising Russian jazz vocalists, as well as Gor Sujyan (soloist of one of the best modern rock bands in Armenia – Dorians) and Tigran Petrosyan (a well-known Armenian singer).
“We are sending the strongest vocalists, because the idea of the song is to get an ‘anthem’ sound. The song is about the Diaspora, about getting back to the roots. One person cannot express all the emotions,” says Martirosyan.
Nevertheless, one of the surprises embraced by all Armenians will be the presence of Jivan Gasparyan, a world-famed master of the Armenian duduk, who will perform along with the Armenian team. A dancer invited from Russia will be the sixth participant (according to the Eurovision rules, the number of performers on the stage is limited to six).
“We’ve met a lot of obstacles on the way to Eurovision that were mainly of the same nature – we are a small country with a small budget and limited possibilities. But now we have all become one and this keeps us going,” says Martirosyan.
The composer believes that the song will conquer the hearts of non-Armenian listeners as well and says that this is the main mission of the song that will be broadcast live to audiences in more than 50 countries.
“I am sure that if someone not familiar either with our culture or history sees this beautiful girl singing this tune and gets what she sings about at least by 20 percent, he will become ‘our man’. We should give this person a thrill and let him listen through – this is our chance.”