Friday, September 25, 2009
DEMISE OF TIATRIST H. BRITTON
Tomazinho Cardozo pays tribute to versatile tiatrist H Britton
The Konkani tiatr is passing through a critical phase. A few months ago a stalwart of the Konkani stage, M Boyer and another tiatr personality,
Lucas Fernandes passed away, leaving a void that may never be filled. On Thursday, yet another multi-talented personality of the tiatr stage, H Britton, expired.
H Britton's contribution to the Konkani stage has not only been immense, it has also been unique. I consider his contribution unique because his acting as a female character kept the Konkani tiatr stage alive at a time when women were reluctant to act. H Britton's real name was Hermegildo Camilo. The first time I saw him on stage was in the late 1960s during the annual tiatr staged by the villagers of Britona on the day of the feast of Our Lady of Penha de France. If I am not mistaken, young, handsome and energetic Hermegildo had come to Goa from Bombay especially for the village feast. This was clear from the announcement that had been made informing the audience that Hermegildo would sing two songs.
Over 600 tiatr lovers were eager to see Hermegildo in action. Everyone in the audience was very happy. The boys continuously wolf whistling from behind filled the atmosphere. I was surprised at the behaviour of the audience after Hermegildo's name was announced. I realized that Hermegildo was very popular among the villagers. I was also informed that Hermegildo was acting in tiatr after a gap of four years. Naturally people were anxious to see the acting of the villager's most-talented young artiste at that time. At last Hermegildo came on stage in his inimitable style and rendered a song which sent the whole audience into a riot of laughter. Calls for an encore coupled with wolf whistles went out from the audience again and again. But the best in Hermegildo was yet to come.
The second song rendered by Hermegildo was excellent. He dressed as a girl and rendered the song in his unique style. His attire, his body movements, his actions and facial expressions mesmerized the audience. He was a perfect young lady criticizing the boys in her song. Although he criticized boys in that song, the boys in the audience could not resist in whistling him back on stage for an encore over and over again. He was the darling of the villagers of Britona at that time and hence they called him Hermegildo and not H Britton, even though he had become a very prominent artiste with the latter name on the tiatr stage in Bombay at that time.
H Britton's singing, dancing and acting as a female character has no parallel in tiatr's history. He dominated the tiatr stage as a female artiste for a long time although he had to go abroad in between for better prospects.
On returning, he once again embraced his first loveâ€”tiatr. Besides being a very good singer and actor, he was a superb lyricist too. His compositions were not only rich in content but also full of wit and humour. He must have composed over 700 songs, besides singing thousands of songs with other tiatr artistes, including M Boyer, Jacinto Vaz and others. He wrote and directed full-length tiatrs too. His first tiatr was `Ekvottachem Foll' which was a hit.
Some of his popular tiatrs which won the hearts of people are: `Custom Officer', `Jivit Kuwaitchem', `Bebdo Put', `Bunhad Naslolem Ghor', etc. However, it was as a singer that he most captured the hearts of people. H Britton has many albums to his credit. His songs `Bandra Fest' and `Pandu Lapiao' have become part of our cultural heritage and will live on forever.
As a `female' artiste of the tiatr stage he was responsible to keep the flag of Konkani tiatr flying high when there was scarcity of girls to act in tiatrs. He filled that vacuum then and saw that tiatr not only survived, but survived as a vibrant dramatic form of Goa.
Tiatr celeb H Britton no more
PANJIM, Sept 24
A shining light of the Konkani stage – Hermegildo Camilo – popularly known as H Britton passed away Thursday evening at Britona, Bardez, after a brief illness.
Recipient of the Goa government’s State cultural award for tiatr, H Britton was a famous tiatr personality for several decades.
He was one of the well-known humorists of Konkani stage who entertained audiences with a variety of songs. Britton was known more for female roles on the stage. His forte was singing. He sung hundreds of songs and also wrote their lyrics.
Britton has brought out several cassettes and VCDs. Some of his well-known songs include Bandra Festak and Pandu Lampeao which are played regularly on All India Radio. He also directed some tiatrs.
Sources said H Britton breathed his last late Thursday evening. He was in the hospital for some days before he was shifted home recently.
Several tiatr personalities condoled the death of H Britton. Jessie Dias who was besides him just before he breathed his last, said with his death a void has been created on the Konkani tiatr stage which will be difficult to fill.
Cezar D’Mello recalled H Britton’s participation in the Ugdass Adlea Kantarancho musical show held some time ago. “It’s a big loss to the Konkani stage”, he said recollecting his association with the acclaimed singer.
(as published in www.oheraldo.in on 26/09/2009)
PANAJI: The Chief Minister, Mr Digambar Kamat has condoled the death of noted Konkani tiatrist, Hermegildo Camilo.
Popularly known as H Britton, Hermegildo Camilo passed away on Thursday evening at Britona, Bardez, after a brief illness.
Goan tiatr, Mr Kamat said has lost one of its tallest heroes. In his death, the Chief Minister said, a void has been created on the Konkani tiatr stage which will be difficult to fill. Mr Kamat has conveyed his sympathies to the bereaved family.
Meanwhile, Mr Tomazinho Cardozo, president of Tiatr Academy Goa has also condoled H Britton’s death.
In the death of H Britton, Konkani tiatr stage has lost one of the most talented artistes in particular and Goa has lost a seasoned tiatrist in general, Mr Cardozo said.
“H Britton served the Konkani tiatr stage for over five decades and has contributed to the development of tiatr immensely.”
“H Britton was a singer of high calibre and hence mesmerised the tiatr audience whenever and wherever he performed. He was an excellent lyricist too. The content of his songs was full of wit and humour and hence he could win the hearts of tiatr lovers of Goa and abroad.”
Tiatr Academy Goa condoles the death of this veteran tiatr artiste and pray to the Almighty that his soul rests in peace, he further said.
H Britton shot to fame with the song ‘Bandra Festak’, followed by ‘Marialinha’ and ‘Bus Conductor.’ Most of his songs were humorous. Some of his other best songs include ‘Mumbai Pahili’, ‘Habibi’, which is Arabic, ‘English Konkani’ and ‘Girl friend’. He sang most of his duets with Succurine Rita and Lorna.
Dubai:The famous Goan Composer,singer and actor who gave us hits like 'Bandra Festak' passed away late Thursday afternoon.Mr Britton was fighting for his life in a hospital in Goa.He is the recipient of the Goa overnment�s State cultural award for tiatr.It is indeed a big loss for Konkani and in particular the konkani stage.
A TRIBUTE TO H.BRITTON
On September 24, 2009, at around 6:30 p.m. another star from the Konkani
celestial world, Hermegildo Camilo, popularly known to tiatr lovers as â€˜H. Brittonâ€™, faded into the oblivion.
Originally, H. Britton hailed from Agasaim but he settled in Britona in the mid Sixties. Maybe thatâ€™s why he took his stage name as â€˜Brittonâ€™ for people to know that he came from the new place and not from his original place.
In the past and even now it has been a fashion for tiatrists to add the name of the place they hail from to their names. For e.g., M. Dod de Verna, Bab Peter de Anjuna Marcelino de Betim, Lawrence de Tiracol, Francis de Tuem, etc.
Until around the middle of the last century, no females were allowed to act in Konkani tiatros, as it was considered below womenâ€™s dignity. Female roles were played by males like the late Vincent de SaligÃ£o, the late Aristides, Remie Colaco, etc.
However, we had one seasoned Konkani stage artist for around four decades now who earned a name for himself by singing songs dressed as a female - he was none other than the talented H. Britton.
H. Britton was one of the Konkani stage humorists who have entertained Goans with a variety of songs for over four decades and won accolades for his singing and acting, especially in imitating womenâ€™s fashion on the stage.
Many, who saw him on the stage for the first time, couldnâ€™t believe he was a male because he dressed and behaved exactly like a woman. He mostly sang solos dressed as a female.
He wore a maxi or draped a sari below his navel and over that he wore a short blouse with deep neck. He held a ladies handbag in his hand or placed it on his shoulder. He used colorful umbrellas matching his dresses/saris. He wore ladies high heel shoes and gave a cat walk on the stage. He wore a pair of Ray-Ban glasses and emulated Gulfeeâ€™s wife of the 1960s and 1970s. He used just enough lipstick and rouge to give him that female appearance. He had a big collection of wigs. Obviously, he needed it in order to enact several female roles! He was the darling of the audience!
A Goa State awardee around 21 years ago, H. Britton carved a niche for himself not only in Goa but also in Mangalore and other parts of India as well as in the Gulf, especially in Kuwait, where he was employed for a brief period.
He was a crowd puller from the 1970s through the 1990s! He was one of the few actors after the late M. Boyer to be encored for almost every song - the public just loved his singing style and dress attire; they had fallen in love with him!
His famous songs â€œBandra Festak,â€ â€œPandu Lampianvâ€, â€œKanknnankarâ€ â€œYou are my
Soniaâ€ â€“ a duet with Lorna, etc. will live forever in our minds.
Here are the lyrics of a comedy song â€œAmchea Bapaâ€ (Our Father) taken from H.
Brittonâ€™s cassette titled â€˜GOEM KONNACHEMâ€ â€“ Vol.12.
AMCHEA BAPA by H. Britton
Sonvsarant hea ghoddtta poi tem nhoi baba sonspachem
Zanntteank toxem nenntteank poddlam fashion korpachem
Igorjen zalam competition, fency dress-achem
Tea fency dressak lagon mis piddâ€™ddear bhavarteanchem.
Amchea Bapa, sorgar asai, tujem nanv vhodd zanv
Disandis unnem zait veta amchem devosanv
Fashion-ing lagon gharan bhurgim kortat kestanv
Dekun ragan ghalun bhonvtam dhuvechem kalsanv
Adlea tempailo ugddas asa mhoje motin
Zannttim zanv nennttim gomttean ghalit Saibinnimchem Bentin
Bailanchea mathear saddiecho pallov, rezarachem kont hatin
Atam bhangar hatin, saddiecho pallov mathear doronam gho Ritin
Igorjen fashion korun aileam distat dansak
Thoddim igorjen bhitor sortat ordea misak
Taimar sarkim pavtat offisak
Devak fottovnk zata, fottovnk zainam boss-ak
Sarkem mon divn konn mis aikota zait hea tempar
Mis choltannam toklen bhitor bhailim chintnam sabar
Thoddim ghoddialak pollovn mhunnttat â€˜mis kednam zatelem kabarâ€™
Thodde mhunnttat edo vhoddlo sermanv kiteak sangta ho Padr Vigar
Bhavarti munis igorjen rozar korta
High heel ghalun cheddvam-bailo bhitor sorta
Mocheancho avaz kanar poddtta
Automatik bhavarteanchi gomtti gunvta
H. Britton is survived by his son Diogo, daughter Augusta and grandchildren.
The funeral will take place in Britona on Sunday, September 27, 2009 at 11:00
I earnestly request readers of this message to say ek ABNM (Amchea Bapa Noman Mori)
for H. Brittonâ€™s soul. May his soul rest in peace!
HIT SONGS OF H.BRITTON can be heard on the Net:
Links as achieved by gaspar almeida for www.goa-world.com
H.Britton, senior Tiatrist who was fighting for his life, for a month
in Hospital in Goa, passed away today 24/9/2009.
H.Britton shot to fame with the song Bandra Festak, followed by
Marialinha and Bus Conductor. Most of his songs were humorous
and on stage he mostly dressed as a lady. Some of his other best
songs include Mumbai Pahili, Habibi, which is Arabic, English
Konkani and Girl friend. He sang most of his duets with Succurine
Rita n Lorna. We will miss another great Konkani Tiatrist.
May his soul Rest in Peace.
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- A big e-welcome to you. Tumcam Maie-mogacho ieukar. Enjoy Life - This is not a rehearsal! Konkani uloi, boroi, vach ani samball - sodankal. Hich Goenchi osmitai ani amchem khalxelponn. Goenchi amchi Konkani bhas! Ekvottachem saddon Goenkaranchem. This is Gaspar Almeida from Parra, Bardez, Goa, based in Kuwait and am connected with the www.goa-world.com website created by Ulysses Menezes, and as Moderator of the famous first of its kind Gulf-Goans e-Newsletter (since 1994) and The Goan Forum and several Goan and Indian associations and forums and e-forums in Goa, India, Kuwait, The Middle East and worldwide.