Patricia Rozario
Mark Troop

The fourth edition of the classical music festival, Da Capo Sammelan organised by Giving Voice Society and Vasantrao Dempo Education and Research Foundation will take place on October 24 and 25, 6:30 p.m. at Institute Menezes Braganza, Panaji.

Western classical music lovers in Goa are in for a treat this week as Da Capo Sammelan returns for its fourth edition.

Organised by Giving Voice Society and Vasantrao Dempo Education and Research Foundation, the festival of classical music which will be held on October 24 and 25, seeks to provide a high level concert experience featuring local and Indian talents alongside international artistes. The two-day concert has internationally reputed opera singer, Patricia Rozario and pianist, Mark Troop as artistic directors.

The idea for Da Capo Sammelan or ‘A gathering from the Top’ was conceptualised when a classical music concert was organised at the newly renovated Reis Magos fort a few years ago.

Shrinivas Dempo is a great supporter of our music. A few years ago he organised a concert at the newly renovated Reis Magos Fort. Oscar Castellino, Joanne D’Mello and I performed at the concert while Mark was at the piano. After our discussion with Dempo, the idea of the festival was born with an initiative to bring people from abroad to perform with local talent,” says Rozario.

This year’s concert will feature international French violinist, Philippe Honoré in a concert celebrating French romantic music. Honoré will be playing on the Maurin Stradivarius 1718 violin. “The Maurin Stradivarius 1718 violin is considered a king of all the violins and it’ll be a treat for the Goan audience to listen to him play,” says soprano, Anushka Coutinho, who will also be a part of the festival and who has been training under Rozario and Troop for over four years now.

Honoré will perform alongside Rozario and Troop on the first day. “The three of us are going to do a performance with a completely different repertoire, different pieces of the musical combination, apart from solo performances by each of us,” says Rozario, who first met Honoré while she was teaching music at Charterhouse School, England where the latter had been teaching the violin.

In fact, Rozario and Troop were looking forward to hosting Honoré last year but his busy schedule and their last minute request disrupted those plans.

Last year, the festival also added a new section to give children a platform to perform western classical music and nurture their talent for the same. And this year, out of 25 youngsters who auditioned, 12 were selected. The youngest of this selection is aged 10 and the oldest is 15. “We found one little 10 year old singer named Ethan, a cellist, and four pianists and six violinists,” says Rozario.

These youngsters will be performing on the second day accompanied by accomplished pianists Ingrid-Anne Nazareth and Ruxandro D’Souza.

Rozario adds that the main focus of this initiative is to make a difference in the way the kids play and gradually help them rise to the occasion thus helping them advance and improve their skills.

The second half of Day 2 will feature four Young Indian Voices, from Giving Voice Society – soprano, Minaish Doctor from Mumbai; tenor, Sandeep Gurrapadi from Hyderabad, tenor, Protyay Chakraborty from Ahmedabad and soprano, Coutinho from Goa. They will be accompanied by Troop on the piano.

All the participants have been preparing for this concert for over four months now.

In fact, Rozario, Troop and Honoré, have been rehearsing in London as practising in India is not the same. “We all live in London and we met several times at the Royal Academy of Music where Honoré teaches, or at our house. I remember telling Honoré that we must practice really well in London, because coming to India is a bit different because lots of things get in the way. For instance, sometimes the piano arrives too late,” explains Rozario.

The festival will feature repertoires in various languages such as German, French, Italian, and Russian, using the combinations of violin, voice, and piano as it was done last year.

The choice of repertoire is completely different. We also have a new piece in English which will be introduced here along with an element of surprise,” says Rozario, adding that the concert will feature more of French repertoire as Honoré is a French national.

At the concert, Coutinho, who gave her first solo performance last year, will be singing ‘Meinecrr Marcuil’ a German aria along with a French aria, this time around. “To prepare I listen to German radio or if I have a master class with Mark and Patricia they teach me to understand the pronunciation and write down what it sounds like. I also find out the meaning of the song so I understand it better even if I don’t know the language,” adds Coutinho.

Coutinho adds that this concert provides a tremendous exposure for participants. “There’s so much exposure because we meet so many people at different events. Patricia and Mark organise so many operas and there are so many opportunities while working with them because they give you that boost you need,” says Coutinho.

What to expect

October 24
Opera singer Patricia Rozario, pianist Mark Troop and French violinist Philippe Honoré in concert.

October 25
1. Showcase of young Goan talent:
Violin soloists: Abigail Alberto, Nadia Barretto, Cayla Rodrigues, Anthea Dias, Shanaya Carvalho, Amanda Rodrigues (accompanied by pianists Ingrid-Anne Nazareth and Ruxandro D’Souza).
Piano soloists: Alayna Paes, Rebecca D’Souza, Pierre D’Souza (with singer, Ethan Pinto and cellist Andre D’Souza).

2. Young Indian Voices from Giving Voice Society: Soprano, Anushka Coutinho, (Goa), soprano, Minaish Doctor (Mumbai), tenor. Sandeep Gurrapadi (Hyderabad), tenor, Protyay Chakraborty (Ahmedabad), accompanied by Mark Troop on the piano.