Bookmark and Share

First Documentary on "HAYEDEH, Legendary Persian Diva"


( - Announcing the first documentary highlighting the life and career of the woman some call "Persia's Maria Callas," the late singer, Hayedeh (1942-1990).
The documentary contains an extensive review of Hayedeh's artistic activities, including rare videos, audio clips, photos, and interviews with the main figures of her career. During the course of the film, we hear from Andranik, the songwriter Mohammad Heydari, producer Manouchehr Bibiyan, conductor Farnoush Behzad, music critic Mahmoud Khoshnam, and the last Persian queen Farah Pahlavi.

"Hayedeh Legendary Persian Diva"
Poster Designed by Kamran Ashtary & Tori Egherman

The documentary, "Hayedeh, Legendary Persian Diva," was made by Pejman Akbarzadeh (28) a Netherlands-based pianist, journalist, and author of a 4-volume book about 20th-century Persian musicians.
Pejman was a 9-year old child in Shiraz when the singer passed away in exile. He did not even know Hayedeh at that time. The reaction of his family and others around him to the diva's death brought his attention to her voice. As a child, Pejman was deeply moved by Hayedeh's voice. "I spent years listening to her singing. Although she was a singer, and I am a pianist, her voice inspired my music very much".
Pejman finally came to the conclusion that was his 'duty' to do so something great for Hayedeh, an icon in Persian vocal music. He spent years doing research, traveling from Tehran to Los Angeles in order to track down the story of the singer. He analyzed various aspects of Hayedeh's work and gathered together many never-before-released materials.
The Persian-Dutch filmmaker Mostafa Heravi edited the 100-minute documentary. "It was a rare opportunity to work with him. Not only because of his professional editing but because of his insights, which made the documentary more attractive," Pejman added.
"Hayedeh, Legendary Persian Diva" was partly supported by the Radio Zamaneh Foundation and will be premiered at Griffioen Cultural Center in Amsterdam on 24th January 2009.

Left to Right: Andranik, Parviz Rahman-Panah, Pejman Akbarzadeh

Los Angeles, April 2008 (Photo by Sholeh Zahraei)

Since the 1979 revolution in Persia (Iran), which brought a fundamentalist religious government to power, women have not been allowed to sing in public. All Persian women singers were forced to end their careers and many of them moved abroad to sing. Hayedeh was one of those who fled Iran.
Hayedeh began her career in the mid-1960s. She studied Persian vocal music with various masters such as the legendary violinist and songwriter Ali Tajvidi at Radio Tehran. For more than 20 years she performed both Persian classical and pop music. Her extraordinary powerful and tragic voice led some to describe her as the Persian Maria Callas.
Revolution and immigration to the West added a new dimension to Hayedeh's career. She sang of the pain of exile and oppression of the people inside her country. Her songs reflected the despair of the eight-year Iran-Iraq war. This empathy made her even more beloved among most Persians.
During the course of her career, Hayedeh performed at London's Royal Albert Hall, Musikhalle Hamburg, the UCLA's Schoenberg Hall, among other major venues.
Hayedeh's unexpected death in exile at the age of 47 was a shock for the entire nation.
 Additional links
- Pejman Akbarzadeh Official Website

- "Hayedeh Legendary Persian Diva" (Documentary

© Copyright 2009 (All Rights Reserved)