Organized by Fundação Oriente Delegation in India – Goa, and held at the Chapel of Our Lady of the Mount, Old Goa
Between February 3 and 5, the idyllic backdrop of the Chapel of Our Lady of Mount in Old Goa was the stage for ht e15th edition of Monte Music Festival.
Produced by the Fundação Oriente Delegation in India, this festival aims at being a communication platform between the many cultural traditions of the West and East. The first day of the festival was filled with a concert titled “Strings from three Continents”, where percussion and sitar from India (Mayank Bedekar e Mansoor Khan) dialogued with the Arabic oud (Ahmed Mukhtar) and classical guitar (Ignacio Monteverde). On the same day, the interior of the Chapel was stage to the concert “Songs of Kindness” by the Portuguese Maestro Vasco Negreiros and performances of Joana Amorim (early flute), Rebeca Csalog (Celtic harp), Mayank Bedekar (tabla) and Rupesh Gawas (vocals), that combined early Christian chants and Indian ragas.
The 15th edition of Monte Music Festival had to be special and therefore the focus of this second day was on the female Indian voices, that both in western and eastern traditions have been leaving their mark in the national and international music scene. Ragini Rainu, the new sufi diva of India delighted her audience accompanied by Aman Nath (piano) and Chanchal Singh (percussion). In the Chapel the Indian soprano Patricia Rozario with Mark Troop and Parvesh Java (piano) and Esvhita Menezes (Violin) offered the audience a wonderful performance dedicated to contemporary sacred chants. I the last concert of the day, Sonia Shirsat charmed the public with a performance dedicated to the grand names of Fado. Side by side with the musicians Orlando Noronha (Portuguese guitar), Allan Abreu (guitar) and Carlos Menezes (viola de fado), the fado singer from Goa came back to the stage several times as requested by the enthusiastic audience.
In the last day of the festival, Maestro Abhay Sopori delivered a wonderful santoor recital. Together with musicians Durjay Bhaumik (tabla) and Rishi Shankar Upadhyay (pakhawaj), Maestro Sopori rendered a heartfelt homage to its home land, Kashmir, and its great poets. Closing Monte Music Festival 2017, the soprano Joanne D’Mello with the solo violinist Leo Rosi and the Bombay Chamber Orchestra, directed by Maestro Santiago Lusardi, gave an outstanding performance.
Monte Music Festival has been growing both in quality and audience, since its conception in 2002, and it is with no doubt one of the most awaited events of the Goan cultural agenda. Even though the space is limited, the audience this year exceed all expectations, with more than 3000 people watching the seven concerts that were presented during the three days of the festival.