|Year of Birth:||1924|
|Year of Death:||2009|
Arda Mandikian (1 September 1924 – 8 November 2009) was a Greek-Armenian soprano opera singer. Mandikian launched her career in England. She took on leading roles in London and Edinburgh. In the 1980s she became the assistant director of the Greek National Opera.
Mandikian was born in Izmir, Turkey in 1924. Mandikian's parents, Krikor Mandikian and Beatrike Ananian, were survivors of the Armenian Genocide. The family fled to Athens, Greece, and Mandikian was sent to the Athens Conservatory where she studied under Elvira de Hidalgo. When she was 15 she made her operatic début with Maria Callas. In 1948 she travelled to Britain to meet the scholar and composer Egon Wellesz. Wellesz arranged for her to give a recital that included Greek music written over two millennia. This included Delphic Hymns written in about 128 B.C. She also appeared in Wellesz's Incognita in Oxford. A demonstration of her singing led to regular work. In 1953 she had leading roles in operas in both Paris and London. In that year she was singing in London's Covent Garden in Peter Grimes by Benjamin Britten and in 1954 she appeared in Le Coq d’or by Rimsky-Korsakov again at the Royal Opera House.
In 1954 she sang the First Delphic Hymn at the Aldeburgh Festival. This inspired Benjamin Britten to include a similar idea in his The Turn of the Screw. Britten created the role of the ghost Miss Jessel especially for Mandikian. It has been said that Britten made the part so close to Mandikian that it "sounds like Arda, whoever sings it".