Noted Yakshagana exponent and pre-eminent Maddale (folk percussion instrument) player Hiriyadka Gopala Rao, will be a centenarian on Saturday.
He will be felicitated on December 29, at Nutana Ravindra Mantapa in MGM College campus in Udupi. A symposium on his contributions to Yakshagana will also be held.
Coordinator of Govinda Pai Samshodhana Kendra Prof Varadesh Hiregange said that, the felicitation was jointly organised by Rashtrakavi Govinda Pai Samshodhana Kendra, Yakshagana Kendra, Regional Resources Centre for Folk Performing Arts, Manipal Academy of Higher Education and Hiriadka Sanskriti Siri Trust.
Dr H Shantaram, administrative officer of the Academy of General Education will preside over the function. Raghava Nambiar, Prof M L Samaga and Guru B Sanjeeva Suvarna will take part in the symposium.
A book on the life of H Gopala Rao ‘Ranga Vidyeya Holabu’ (authored by Dr Raghav Nambiar) will be released by Prof Muralidhar Upadhya. Guru Sanjeeva Suvarna will present a Yakshagana demonstration.
Hiriyadka Gopala Rao, son of Sheshagiri Rao and Laxmi Bai, was born on December 15, 1919. He witnessed the Indian Independence struggle. After completing the seventh standard, he quit school and took to agriculture.
Inspired by his father, he joined Yakshagana and learnt all aspects of this art. Later he decided to dedicate his life to Maddale performances, in which he attained national recognition.
Having served as a teacher at Yakshagana Kendra, he became a highly knowledgeable resource person for national as well as international art-scholars.
His Maddale playing skills earned him the title –‘Maddale Mantrika’ (Maddale wizard).