There’s something profoundly haunting about the evocative deep accent of mezzo-sopranos. In Patricia Rozario, whose stellar rise since her first appearance on stage in an annual parent-organised talent contest in Santacruz, Mumbai, that brought her to perform with today’s world-leading composers on the best scenes in the world, you will find a sweet and endearing down-to-earth generosity. Her opera repertoire includes many of the baroque masterpieces and the contemporary compositions. Her recordings of both ancient and avant-garde music have taken her to the top of her field in Britain, making her the muse of many renowned composers like Arvo Part and Sir John Tavener. And more recently, she became the second Indian after Zubin Mehta to receive a fellowship from the prestigious Royal College of Music in London. But when she meets you over a cup of coffee, taking a break from the frenzied rehearsal session she has to put herself through, she’s all warm indulgence and attention. When we ask her if opera is set to arrive in India, she sounds hopeful. “There’s so much talent here, it’s just a matter of time before it becomes the next big thing. ”
Well, Patricia just finished her four-city tour of India, staging concerts in Pune, Mumbai and Goa, before the grand finale in Delhi. The auditorium in Delhi, however, was painfully desolate despite the top-class act offered by a clutch of talented Indian performers that was led by the fiery soprano and her pianist husband Mark Troop. Their performance in Dido and Aeneas, written by the English composer Henry Purcell, recounts the love of Dido, the queen of Carthage, for the Trojan hero Aeneas. There’s a crackling show by the troupe when the elegant queen sings her last aria, “When I am laid in Earth”. The opera concludes when Dido dies in a disillusioned agony, after she had ordered the “cupids to scatter roses on her tomb, soft and gentle as her heart.” Patricia’s ‘voice of liquid gold’ lends the final touch to the poignant drama.
The love affair with opera, however, is not new. It goes back to Patricia’s early Bombay evenings, filled with piano, guitar and classical music records. “My four brothers and I were taught to play the piano by my mother and she also encouraged us to sing solos and group songs. At every gathering, we were asked to sing and play for the guests,” she reminisces. Later, she went to London as a student, intending to return to India after the completion of her studies. But the rapid development of her voice took everyone by surprise; this unanticipated improvement changed the course of her fate. After being awarded many different scholarships in addition to receiving the prestigious Gold Medal at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Patricia’s career quickly took off. Tavener first heard her sing when she auditioned for his opera Mary of Egypt, while composers like Pärt, Simon Holt, Param Vir and Roxanna Panufnik wrote for her.
Patricia might already have a past full of glory that would turn most artists into narcissistic divas, but that doesn’t mean she is snobbing her roots. On the contrary, Patricia’s connection to India has remained unbroken; she performs often in saris, she adapted Indian folk songs for a City of London Festival and she comes to India thrice-a-year to teach students and hold concerts.
Yet, in spite of her successful and multifaceted career, Patricia feels the learning curve never ceases. “There are new languages to be learnt, new operas to be conducted, new songs to be sung.” And what’s next? May we suggest a warm ensemble with Zubin?
We at Outlookindia.com welcome feedback and your comments, including scathing criticism
1. Scathing, passionate, even angry critiques are welcome, but please do not indulge in abuse and invective. Our Primary concern is to keep the debate civil. We urge our users to try and express their disagreements without being disagreeable. Personal attacks are not welcome. No ad hominem please.
2. Please do not post the same message again and again in the same or different threads
3. Please keep your responses confined to the subject matter of the article you are responding to. Please note that our comments section is not a general free-for-all but for feedback to articles/blogs posted on the site
4. Our endeavour is to keep these forums unmoderated and unexpurgated. But if any of the above three conditions are violated, we reserve the right to delete any comment that we deem objectionable and also to withdraw posting privileges from the abuser. Please also note that hate-speech is punishable by law and in extreme circumstances, we may be forced to take legal action by tracing the IP addresses of the poster.
5. If someone is being abusive or personal, or generally being a troll or a flame-baiter, please do not descend to their level. The best response to such posters is to ignore them and send us a message at Mail AT outlookindia DOT com with the subject header COMPLAINT
6. Please do not copy and paste copyrighted material. If you do think that an article elsewhere has relevance to the point you wish to make, please only quote what is considered fair-use and provide a link to the article under question.
7. There is no particular outlookindia.com line on any subject. The views expressed in our opinion section are those of the author concerned and not that of all of outlookindia.com or all its authors.
8. Please also note that you are solely responsible for the comments posted by you on the site. The comments could be deleted or edited entirely at our discretion if we find them objectionable. However, the mere fact of their existence on our site does not mean that we necessarily approve of their contents. In short, the onus of responsibility for the comments remains solely with the authors thereof. Outlookindia.com or any of its group publications, may, however, retains the right to publish any of these comments, with or without editing, in any medium whatsoever. It is therefore in your own interest to be careful before posting.
9.Outlookindia.com is not responsible in any manner whatsoever for how any search engine -- such as Google, Bing etc -- caches or displays these comments. Please note that you are solely responsible for posting these comments and it is a privilege being granted to our registered users which can be withdrawn in case of abuse. To reiterate:
a. Comments once posted can only be deleted at the discretion of outlookindia.com
b. The comments reflect the views of the authors and not of outlookindia.com
c. outlookindia.com is not responsible in any manner whatsoever for the way search engines cache or display these comments
d. Please therefore take due caution before you post any comments as your words could potentially be used against you
10. We have an online thread for our comments policy:
You are welcome to post your suggestions here or in case you have a specific issue, to directly email us at Mail AT outlookindia DOT com with the subject header COMPLAINT