'Opera is like a Bollywood film'
He is India’s first and currently only true operatic tenor performing in the world today. Anando Mukerjee, having trained in Europe for several years with some f the finest singers in the world including Nicolai Gedda, one of the greatest living tenors of the 20th Century.
Anando holds the unique distinction of being the only Indian tenor to date to have made operatic and concert debuts and appearances in leading international venues such as the Belgrade National Opera, Scottish Opera, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, NCPA Bhabha Opera House and the Kennedy Center.
In the City for a concert, Anando, shared his love for opera and how it all started. “I belong to a family of artistes – we have dancers, painters, singers and even my mother is a trained pianist. So, I was exposed to music at a really young age and western classical music was one of the genres that I listened for the first time at the age of 13. My first public recital was at the age of 15 and since then there has been no looking back.”
Anando’s operatic roles include Rodolfo, Alfredo, the Duke of Mantua, Macduff, Pinkerton, Nemorino and Cavaradossi. He is also an accomplished recitalist and has a large and varied oratorio repertoire. He moved to the UK in 1999 from India and after receiving a Tripos in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University, he received vocal training from Kenneth Woollam, Richard Nunn and Ian Comboy other than regular master-classes from the legendary Nicolai Gedda.
Talking about the future of opera in India, the singer said, “I see a huge future of opera in India as I find a lot of people showing interest in western classical music.”
“Opera is like a Bollywood film – larger than life. And India being an emerging superpower with a highly sophisticated middle class who are not restricted by any boundaries, are the lovers of opera in India. They really love opera in an Indian avatar,” added Anando.
Making a mark on the foreign land and becoming a master on western classical music, Anando said, “You know Indianness has never been an issue and there was nothing unusual, they all welcomed me. Indians are good in excelling in everything – be it art or even accepting another culture.”
Lastly, the Bengali opera singer gave few inspiring lines for budding singers. “One should not lose their dreams and should never lose their love for music. Just chase your dream and don’t lose your hope. This is the key to success.”