Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Henry Fernandes keeping Goan Tiatr culture alive in Qatar

Henry Fernandes keeping Goan Tiatr culture alive

- Armstrong Vaz

Qatar-based Henry Fernandes has been keeping the Goan Tiatr culture alive. For the last 22 years, he has been a regular in the cultural scene in Qatar, lending voice for Konkani Tiatrs and also organising dance and other cultural events.

SOME DISCOVER the flair for acting at a very young age, some fade away as they move into adulthood. Some carry on gamely against all odds and all challenges. Qatar-based Henry Fernandes discovered his inborn talent for acting at a tender age of eight years. He sustained it over the years and has mastered the art over the years.

Konkani stage actor Henry Fernandes comes across as a person with grace, poise and all the attributes, which one associates with a top grade actor.

He has been a regular entertainer par excellence in the Konkani language dramas that have been staged by the Goan community. Awards and accolades have come many down the line for him. Awards and prizes, which have served as a motivation and encouragement.

One such award came in 1995 in Qatar for his role in one act play competition organised under the aegis of the United Stars. Fernandes was conferred the best actor prize at the hands of former chief minister of Goa Churchill Alemao who was chief guest for the competition at Al-Ghazal Club.
Fernandes has come a long way after taking a trip on the Konkani stage as a stage artiste in his school days. It all started at his alma mater St Anthony High School Monte de Guirim in Goa.

The break came in the form of a school play. Thereafter, there was no looking back for the ever smiling Fernandes. A complete different persona on stage from one you encounter in daily life.

Fernandes has also lent his voice to Konkani Tiatr’s singing songs here in Qatar. He for one remembers the first prize he received at Fr Agnel High School Pilar in 1977-78 for the all Goa singing competition. The song he nostalgically remembers he sang and got the first prize was Mhozo Put Padri (my son is a priest).

He was invited to sing the same song in three cities in Goa, which he sang along with the Tiatr group of renowned Konkani Tiatrist, late C Alvares. The lyrics, he recalled were written by his schoolmate from Canacona, south Goa. With the passage of time, Fernandes for once has forgotten the lyrics and only remembers the first stanza. Fernandes now is on the lookout for his long lost school mate whom he has found out is now working in Dubai. He now plans to retrieve the lost song from him and sing it again on stage.


The high point of his singing he said was singing the Rom-Rem-Rod trio of the older generation with late Luis Dias and Prince Jacob in Dubai, which got a tremendous response from Tiatr fans in the Tiatr ’Divorce’.

He said, "Acting for money is not my consideration. My aim is to entertain and make people happy with my acting. One act plays are occasion for Goans to intermingle and families to interact. They have to go with happy memories having watched a superb performance from the actors."

As singer and actor, he said he was inspired by watching and listening to Tiatrist and singer M Boyer in his younger days and tried to imitate him with his singing and acting. "M Boyer is my role model," he informed.

The last two decades has seen him mainly play tragedy roles. On reasons for preferring tragedy roles, he pointed out that he feels comfortable in portraying the roles. "Playing tragedy roles come naturally for me," he added.

As an actor after the script is handed over to him by the director, he for one works on the script and fancies himself creating a mental picture the role he will be depict in the drama. Accordingly, he suggests changes in the script to be best suited for the occasion and for the script and which can bring the best out of him.

A challenge he wish to take up in the near future is the acting role of a blind person. "It is my wish to don the role of blind person, hopefully the occasion will come," he added.

As for directing a play himself, he has not seriously dabbled in the task but has plans that will take some time to materialise, he informed.

On the personal front he feels the tragic death of his friend Luis Dais son of late Artides Dias four years back, was a great loss to the cultural scene in Qatar. "He was a great director and singer," he recalled.
For the last 22 years, he has been a regular in the cultural scene in Qatar, lending voice for Konkani Tiatrs and also playing his part in organising dance or any other cultural occasion.

http://www.merinews.com/cj/ARMIE

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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.