ABELYAN Hovhannes was born on October 23 in 1863 in Shamakhi. An Armenian actor. People's Artist of Armenian SSR in 1925. Armenian SSR Labor Hero in 1932. From 1882 he played in Armenian and Russian theatres of Tiflis and Baku. His teacher of performing arts was P. Adamyan in 1886. In 1895 Abelyan became the founder of theater group “Armenian acting organization”, in 1901-1905 he conducted local theatre group with G. Petrosyan, in 1912 headed the Armenian theatre tour in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. In 1913 Abelyan and his group performed in Iran, Central Asia and in 1917 he became the chairman of the “Armenian dramatic actors’ Union” (Tiflis).

In 1920 Abelyan left for abroad. In 1925 he performed in Constantinople, Zmyurnia,Hovhannes Abelyan in the role of Elizbarov ("For the sake of honor" by Shirvanzade) Egypt, Paris, Brussels, London, USA. From 1925 Abelyan was an actor at First State Theatre (now named after Sundukyan), in 1927-28 an actor at Armenian theatre in Baku. Becoming the most prominent figure of the Armenian theater after P. Adamyan, Abelyan contributed to the formation of nation style of performing arts by his realistic performance. He excellently embodied the Shirvanzade’s characters, Elizabrov (“For the sake of honor”), Rustam, Barkhudar (the second one also in film, “Namus” (“Honor”)), Gizh Daniel (“Evil spirit”). The roles of Svengali (“Trilby”), Stockmann (“An Enemy of the People” by H. Ibsen), Pepo (“Pepo” by Shirvanzade),   Abbot (“Ancient Gods” by L. Shant), Abisoghom agha, Paghtasar (“The Honorable Beggars”, “Paghtasar akhpar” by H. Paronyan), Aslan ami (“In the circle” by Vagharshyan), Othello,  Lear (“Othello”, “King Lear” by W. Shakespeare), Zhadov ("A Profitable Position" by A. Ostrovsky) are among the best ones.  In 1936 the dramatic theatre of the city of Vanadzor was named after Abelyan.

Source- “Who is Who. The Armenians” encyclopedia, volume II, chief-editor Hovh. Ayvazyan, Yerevan, 2007.

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