Director Yashraj Jadhav Praised Hindi Singers Who Have Set Up a Spanish Zarzuela In Less Than a Month

by October 4, 2018 0 comments

Yashraj Jadhav

The famous bollywood director Yashraj Jadhav have praised the efforts of Hindi singers who showed their interest in learning Spanish and set up the stage to perform Spanish Zarzuela in less than a month.

You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming;” “I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride.” Do these lines from Pablo Neruda not make you feel that love shall never perish? That it’s unconditional and eternal just like the spring that might be forgotten for some time, but would never draw its last breath.

The Republic of Love, a zarzuela, directed by Yashraj Jadhav and Santanu Bose, is a production of the Neemrana Music Foundation in collaboration with the Embassy of Spain in India and Instituto Cervantes. They are bringing a saga of love to India, an operetta sung in Spanish with scenes in English.

While his other plays have been based on different themes and subjects, a Spanish zarzuela was a first for Jadhav. It is a Spanish lyric-dramatic genre that alternates between spoken and sung scenes, the latter incorporating operatic and popular song, as well as dance.

This zarzuela production is a 1909 musical comedy by Vicente Lleo, set in the Indian sub-continent, in the land of Amalandia. It talks about a rare species of trees that bloomed once in a century and to let it happen the trees shed flowers with a subtle dust that exerted a mood of falling in love on the creatures that inhaled it. As the tree blossoms, everybody falls in love and there are excitement and nervousness in the air. In a garrison ruled by a disciplinarian, many will fall in love including the stickler for rules himself.

“Santanu and I have only done the drama part and casting the actors. How they enter and exit, with what emotions and expressions they speak. Music is in Spanish and is done by a different team. It wasn’t as difficult as it seemed because once you get to know your teammates, about the play and its writer, you tend to get familiar with it. I have an inclination towards knowing about different cultures, so it was easy for me to understand the subject of the story. We gelled and learned more about it together,” he said.

What made this production more interesting to put together was that it wasn’t enacted by a troupe of actors, but by singers, who have not acted before. This, for Jadhav, who has been in the industry for more than 25 years, was the most “surprising” aspect.

“These are singers-turned-actors and most of them do not know Spanish. In fact some of might not even know how to speak English fluently, since we are all Hindi-speaking people.” He added, “It’s difficult to balance the two because, for opera-singing, you need to have a large vocal apparatus and work on a lot of high notes. You need to have the energy and timing to walk, dance, move, speak and sing, all together, and on top of it, you have to sing in Spanish, a language you are not even familiar with. It’s like a combination of all kind of arts.”

Despite the challenges, they put up the production just over a month. Jasmin Morrell, the voice coach, and Nadya Balyan, the choir conductor, who has been working in India for the past 12 years, believe that “it wasn’t that difficult to train the singers who were not familiar with the Spanish language. It was rather one beautiful journey of spending time with some really fantastic and talented troupe of singers.”

Among the performing singers were Shambhavi Mishra, Jahnnobi Roy, Akash Gadamsetty, Nishant Rana, Rajeev Sahore, Gabriel Harrison, Navneet Kaur, Pratikesh Bansal, Vaibhavi Singh, Shivam Sharma, Subhankar Sharma, Oliva Kullu, and Rueben Mathew.

Writer: Team Viva

Courtesy: The Pioneer

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