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Already well-known in the 1970s in the former Soviet Union, he won a place to train in Italy and sang Pinkerton in Puccini's Madama Butterfly at La Scala, and also in Boris Godunov and Tosca, in performances conducted by Claudio Abbado. Unfortunately, the Soviet authorities placed him on the list of artists restricted from travelling abroad, for unknown reasons.
Later he was lead singer at the Mariinsky Theatre at the invitation of Valery Gergiev, where he became a great success.
After 1990, when it became possible to travel abroad, he sang in many countries, including at the Royal Concergebouw in Amsterdam, at Covent Garden in London, New York Metropolitan Opera, La Scala Milan, Teatro Colón, Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, Berlin Staatsoper, the Salzburg Festival, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Festival Puccini and the Savonlinna Opera Festival.
From 2000 until 2007 he was artistic director of Yerevan Opera Theatre. In 2015 he became artistic director of the Armenian National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet.
He died in Yerevan on 23 March 2016, aged sixty-five.