Da Capo Sammelan 2, the second in the series of annual concerts of western classical music presented by artistes of global acclaim, made Goan cultural history on the evening of the 26th October, 2017, by its unique setting and venue – the old, lovely church of St. Francis d’ Assisi in the Old Goa complex of churches, a World Heritage site!
The concert whose title translates to a Latin Sanskrit coinage of ‘A Gathering From the Top’, featured daughter of Goa, vocalist Patricia Rozario, her pianist husband, Mark Troop and French horn player, Timothy Jones all British performers of renown, and was an offering of the Vasantrao Dempo Education & Research Foundation.
Both for the artistes and the organisers, the historic precincts of a World Heritage church were a dream-come-true setting for a music concert, ancient churches having been designed and built almost magically to carry vocal and instrumental sounds in acoustics that are perfect in almost each case.
The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Goa Circle, headed by Superintending Archaeologist In Charge, Mr. Uday Shastry and his team specially assisted by Ms. Rohini Pandey, gave permission to hold the event in the church (which was not used for purposes of religious worship). The ASI enjoined upon the Foundation the absolute need to ensure that their conservation of the premises was not affected in any way. Lovingly elaborate arrangements were made not to disturb the paintings, floors, walls, and iconography, while laying out professionalised staging for the performers and comfortable seating for the audience.
The evening began with high tea on the lawns followed by a warm welcome from Foundation Trustee Shrinivas V Dempo, who was accompanied by his wife, Ms. Pallavi S Dempo and members of his family. A concert of the most soulful sounds to be heard in the premises of the St. Francis d’ Assisi then ensued.
The combination of artistry, professionalism and organisation resulted in an evening awash in melody.
The audience comprised a veritable Who’s Who of Goan industry, culture, government and music connoisseurs, which savoured selections from Donizetti, Schubert, Berlioz, Strauss and Britten for voice, horn and piano.
Setting the seal on a musical evening that is certain to linger in the memory!