If you haven’t attended a Guy Manoukian concert yet, then you definitely lost the chance of having an artistic dose of happiness and enthusiasm.
On stage, Manoukian turns into a mass of musical notes as he plays the piano. His presence doesn’t resemble that of other musicians, and his concerts are not just about entertainment. He sings and triggers excitement and energy in his audience through a three-dimensional artistic language that few can master.
Manoukian recently performed at the French Olympia Theater, and he's set to play a concert at Lebanon’s Beiteddine Festival on July 16. His fans in Detroit, Montreal, Houston, London, and many other places, are also waiting his concerts.
His Beiteddine concert, whose tickets sold out a few days after the official announcement, brings Manoukian back to his artistic origins. He has already performed twice on that stage to great acclaim.
Today, the festivals are returning with the Lebanese-Armenian musician, to reclaim their charm and significant position on the map of Lebanese festivals.
“It’s my third concert in Beiteddine. This stage is like a home that I miss and want to visit every now and then. When I perform in Lebanon close to my people and my audience, it feels different, especially after a long time away,” he told Asharq Al-Awsat.
Manoukian has prepared a diverse musical program that features both Lebanese and Arabic music. “The concerts will include a blend of the music and a lot of positive energy. Those who have already attended my concerts know what I am talking about.”
“I love to give my audience some hope and optimism inspired by the Lebanon of tomorrow we dream of, and the Beiteddine festivals are the best place to deliver this message.”
He recently performed an unforgettable concert at France’s Olympia. “Every artist dreams of standing on this international stage, especially Lebanese artists, as we have a special bond with France.”
“I must say that I felt a little nervous at first because of the significance of the place, but it was the best concert I performed, and it turned into a celebration. The interaction of the audience was remarkable, and I will never forget it because it has given me much strength,” he recalled.
How does the musician cope with a new audience every time?
“Meeting an audience for the first time is the best feeling ever. When I visit a new city and meet a new audience, I feel so excited. That’s what I remember from concerts I performed in Sydney, Montreal, Los Angeles, and many more,” said Manoukian.
“Usually, the audience includes Lebanese, Arabic, and Armenian fans, so I feel like they are welcoming me on their own way. These ‘first times’ give me an amazing energy that I translate in my performance,” he explained.
Manoukian owes a lot to his father, who played a major role in encouraging him to build a career in music and fulfil his dream. But is he still pursuing his dreams?
“Despite all my achievements and awards, yes, I’m still pursuing my dream, which for me, is enjoying an artistic journey, not a goal or a position.”
“Therefore, I urge all young men and women not to give up on their dreams. They should keep trying despite hardships. Life is short and worth trying,” he remarked.
Manoukian has gained international fame, and many prizes, but the most valuable for him is the Best Armenian Dance Album Award that he won in Los Angeles.
The musician had to take a forced break from music because of the coronavirus pandemic. Did it affect his work?
“It helped me fix the rhythm of my life. Before, I was living a loud and hectic and I felt my children were growing up away from me. During the pandemic, I seized the opportunity to enjoy a warm family life,” said Manoukian.
“I also managed to finish music pieces that I couldn’t complete because of my busy schedule”, he explained.
“In my opinion, it was a positive break that allowed me to see things differently. It helped me focus on my priorities, mostly my family,” he added.
Manoukian has stood on many Arabic and global stages, but what about Saudi Arabia? Is he planning a concert there? “Saudi Arabia is always on my mind and in my future plans,” he revealed.
“I believe it’s the future of the Middle East, and the prospering tomorrow of art and openness we are all aspiring to. I am really excited to meet the Saudi people on the right occasion,” he added.