Western classical music enthusiasts have something to look out for this August. The National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA), is hosting a performance by French baritone Laurent Naouri, who is making his debut in India.
Naouri has performed a repertoire of over 40 roles, spanning over 400 years of music, across the globe with leading conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle, Bernard Haitink and Valery Gergiev.
“I am truly humbled at the opportunity to perform in India’s most talked-about city — Mumbai,” says Naouri. “I am told there is a bit of a musician in every Indian, and I am eagerly waiting to perform in a city that is so full of culture and life.”
The French singer is fairly familiar with Indian music, having attended shows by stalwarts like Zakir Hussain and Hariprasad Chaurasia in Paris. “I am quite fascinated by the tabla playing and how it relates with language,” says the singer. “How can anyone not be fascinated by a country like India? One could write several books on India’s contribution to the world. Indian music is a continent in its own.”
This means that he is very excited about his first visit to the country. And he is not the only one! “My 14-year-old daughter is also coming along with me,” he laughs. “She has been dreaming of visiting India ever since she watched Devdas (2002) for the first time. Though she doesn’t speak Hindi, she knows the movie by heart. She loved the songs of the film and learned the song morey piya phonetically.”
Naouri will be accompanied by award-winning pianist Maciej Pilkulski. “Bringing down big musicians like Laurent Naouri and Maciej Pilkulski is a coup of sorts and it’s impossible to express my excitement in words,” says, Khushroo N Suntook, chairman, NCPA.