Indian-origin soprano leads first full ‘desi’ opera in Mumbai
This is the first time a full production at Mumbai’s Royal Opera House will feature an entirely Indian cast.world Updated: Jun 26, 2017 12:28 IST
Patricia Rozario, a Mumbai-born soprano of Goa origin, will lead the first full opera production by an Indian cast at the Royal Opera House in Mumbai this week, marking a new high in India’s engagement with the western classical music tradition.
The cast will stage Domenico Cimarosa’s comic masterpiece Il Matrimonio Segreto (The Secret Marriage), with music by London-based Rozario and her pianist husband Mark Troop. Its four performances from July 27 to 29 are directed by Rehaan Engineer and conducted by Marie Badstue.
Since 2006, Rozario and Troop have been training teachers and students in India in western music singing under an initiative called Giving Voice Society. Workshops are held in Goa, Mumbai, Pune and Ahmedabad to develop talent in the techniques of western singing to an international level.
Rozario told HT: “This is an historic occasion as it will be the first time a full production will take place at the Royal Opera House featuring an entirely Indian cast, which of course has special significance in this year, the 70th anniversary of Indian independence.
“India has vocal talent in abundance, waiting to be developed. Giving Voice Society has been teaching western classical singing to Indian students in Mumbai and other cities. We now have some very fine Indian singers, many of whom have gone abroad to study. They will feature in the performances.”
The production consists of players from the Symphony Orchestra of India, and singers Shreya Nayak, Natasha Agarwal, Anoushka Pokhare, Farah Ghadiali, Vedika Chandran, Anna Nair, Kersi Gazdar, Sandeep Gurrapadi, Oscar Castellino, Rahul Bharadwaj, Darwin Prakash Leonard, and JW Johnson.
Gifted with a voice described as “liquid gold”, Rozario’s wide concert and opera repertoire ranges from baroque to contemporary music. She is an exponent of bel canto – the fabled method used by the great Italian singers of the 19th century.
Feted for her achievements, Rozario is a recipient of the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, royal honour OBE, and is a fellow of the Royal College of Music.