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A Standing Ovation For The Belgian Conductor

After performing with the Bangalore City Chamber Orchestra at the SAIACS CEO centre auditorium, Bangalore, the next performance of the extraordinary musicians was in Goa, at Kala Academy, Panjim, with 90 minutes of music, all classics by Christoph Willibald Gluck, Gioachino Rossini, Bela Bartók, Samuel Barber, Antonio Vivaldi, Anton Arensky, etc. Opus Gala in collaboration with the Directorate of Art and Culture and Kala Academy presented ‘A Midsummer’s Night Dream’, an evening of orchestral music.

A young musician, Joris Decolvenaer, was conducting the orchestra for the first time, making his debut in Bangalore and then Goa. Accompanied with the talented musicians, the orchestra received two encores and a standing ovation after the concert with many music lovers rooted to their seats waiting for more.

Opus Gala has been working closely with musicians and conductors from Germany and this is their first interaction with musicians from Belgium. Speaking about the orchestra, Schubert Cotta, who heads Opus Gala, informs, “The Chamber Orchestra of Goa together with the Bangalore City Chamber Orchestra (BCCO) completed their first season with their final concert at the Kala Academy, Goa after having had concert on May 4 and 5 in Bangalore.

The programme consisted of a range of works, seven Romanian folk dances by Bela Bartok, two Arias by composers G Rossini and C W Gluck featuring Mezzo- Soprano Tanisha Herbert as soloist, the famous Adagio by S Barber, the ‘Summer’ from A Vivaldi’s four seasons with Goa’s very own Sanya Cotta as soloist on the violin and Variations on a theme of Tchaikovsky by A Arensky. As special encore, there was a special arrangement by conductor Joris Decolvenaer of ‘Tujhe Dekha Toh’ from the movie ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’.”

He adds, “The orchestra rehearsed for five days in Bangalore with rehearsals going up to nine hours every day. The orchestra musicians are carefully selected and consisted of the best string players from various parts of India including Goa, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune and even Sri Lanka.”

Another feather in the cap for this concert was a special acoustic shell designed and fabricated by Rui Lobo, a musician and engineer from Goa. For the first time in nearly 40 years, the Kala Academy Dinanath Mangeshkar Hall experienced the benefit of an acoustic shell which also added to the visual beauty of the performance.

The concert was tastefully presented with excellent chamber offering and Joris worked well with the musicians with good tempo training. The ensemble playing was of a very high talent. The orchestra supported the voice of Soprano Tanisha Herbert very well with the right accompaniments. The musicians from Goa comprised Sanya Cotta (Concert Master), Eshvita Menezes, Frederika Cotta, Judyline Fernandes, Syanna Fernandes and Leo Velho. Andrea Leitan, of Sri Lankan and Goan origin, was also part of the ensemble.

Lisa Dias-Noronha of Opus Gala is confident in the younger generation taking the music scene very seriously. “Opus Gala is a well knitted family that works on music and art; the younger generation is creating programmes and planning out even the smallest details. They are even composing music for Konkani films and taking over music. Dayn Cotta is a silent worker yet amazing as he puts together everything for the concerts,” says Lisa. [H]

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