22 Nov 2020  |   03:45am IST

Coming home to familiar haunts

Avers Pereira was away for thirty five years and has returned to his first love, tiatr where he will surprise audiences with his skill as a singer and actor
Coming home to familiar haunts

Team Café

After 35 years of service in the Gulf, Avers Pereira is back to his roots and set to take a plunge again on the Konkani stage as a singer and surprise the tiatr audience with his acting skills as well

Sant Estevam-based Avers Pereira was born on December 7, 1965. Due to service at the Vasco Harbour, his father, late Zeferino Pereira resided at Vasco with his family.

Being fond of tiatrs, Pereira’s father would take him along in order to watch and as per the opportunities available, sing songs during the performances. It was at one such performance of tiatr ‘Ostori’ by late Paulo, a tiatrist from Vasco, at the tender age of 7, he rendered a song ‘Hanv Ek Manager’, composed by the director.

After Pereira’s father retired from service, the family moved to the picturesque and serene village of Sant Estevam in the Tiswadi taluka. At the age of 13, Avers found an entry in late Rom Tony’s tiatr ‘Piso Police Inspector’, which was staged across Goa, and he rendered two of his compositions, namely ‘Gupit Mog’ and ‘Kazari Jivit’.

At the age of 15, Pereira joined hands with his fellow villager, Anthony Sylvester and the duo presented their first tiatr ‘Atancho Sonvsar’ under the banner ‘Antvers Productions’. It was at this juncture when he encountered the late Souza Boy, who was part of the Trio Kings (Anthony-Souza Boy-Jr Nelson).

“Late Souza Boy was kind enough to guide me as far as compositions and other intricacies of songs were concerned,” revealed Pereira. In 1983 ‘Antvers Productions’ came up with another tiatr ‘Girestkai’, which was later produced in a video cassette in 1988.

Seeking greener pastures, Pereira flew to Bahrain in 1985. But during vacation, in 1992, when Pereira staged tiatr ‘Ixttagot’ under the banner ‘Antvers Productions’, the cast included topmost artistes of the Konkani stage, namely Joe Rose, Greg/Sabina, Ben Evangelisto, Young Chico, Prem Kumar, Jr Rod, Rosy Alvares, Trio Kings (Anthony-Souza Boy-Jr Nelson), Jacinto Vaz and Mary Vaz. “The Charlie Chaplin of the tiatr stage, Jacinto Vaz performed in this tiatr and thereafter fell ill and passed away in 1993,” he mentioned.

Under the banner ‘Antvers Productions’, the last production was ‘Jib’ in 1993, which had the same topmost cast, except Jacinto Vaz and Mary Vaz. During his stay in Bahrain, he performed in two tiatrs of Bab Peter, apart from participating in a singing competition organized by the Young Goans Club and winning first prize on three occasions.

“During my 10 years stay in Bahrain,” Pereira stated that Francis Correia, G R Crasto and late Max Tavares were his life support. “In cultural activities,” he said, “their backing always served as a big boost to my talent.”

From Bahrain, Pereira paved the way to Muscat, where he had longer innings. In Muscat, E Perry introduced him in two of his tiatrs, namely ‘Nanv Dovrun Gelo’ and ‘Hench Tem’ and musical shows ‘Problem’ and ‘Mistake’, besides participation in tiatrs organized by the Goan Community of Oman (GCO), which also felicitated him at the hands of the ambassador of India in 2019.

In 2015, Pereira organized a musical show with performances by Lorna, his daughter, Velrose, comedian Manohar Bhingui and musician Norman Cardozo. Two songs which were instant hits in Oman included ‘Konknni Uloi’ and ‘Direct Flight’.

“The song ‘Direct Flight’ was rendered in one of E Perry’s tiatrs,” recollected Pereira, “and its impact was the introduction of direct flight from Muscat to Goa in 2016. “Earlier, it was a flight from Oman to Mumbai and then the Goans would get stranded there for almost 8 hours, till they boarded the connecting flight to Goa,” he added.

On January 10, 2020, when the king of Oman, Sultan Qabos Binsaid passed away, Pereira was inspired to compose a song as a tribute to the departed king and he succeeded in releasing it in February. “He was the only educated king in the Gulf region,” he said, “he was a peacemaker and always supported the Christian community, winning respect from the world leaders.”

When it comes to composition of songs, Pereira enjoys picking up relevant issues related to the society. Earlier, he composed a song ‘Gulfant Hero Goykaranche’, which focused on the active Goans in the Gulf countries, followed by ‘Corona Virus’ on the pandemic in April 2020, both uploaded on the YouTube channel.

In 1997 Pereira released his first audio cassette ‘Soro’, which was the first in the Sant Estevam village, followed by ‘Tin Bhutam’ in 1999. His audio CDs include ‘Konknni Uloi’, ‘Devacho Ghutt’, ‘Gulfantle Koxtt’ and ‘Posko’ and his two VCDs comprises of ‘Familicho Ekvott’ and ‘Avaz Tuzo’, where Lorna rendered her melodious voice with Velrose.

Brushing aside political songs, composing solos and duets on social themes and providing moral values are Pereira’s forte. Till date almost 80 per cent of his compositions have been rendered by Lorna, late Young Chico, Anthony San, Ben Evangelisto, Fr Eusico Pereira, Basilio Marques, Braz Pereira, Acasio Pereira, Felcy, Bushka, Semanca, Sydelle, Franzie, Prince Jacob, Xavier Gomes, Benny de Aldona and daughters, Velrose and Velriza.

Pereira served as a resort manager in the Sheraton Qurum Beach Resort, Muscat. And for 25 years of dedicated service in the hospitality industry, he was presented the ‘Best Manager’s Award’ at the hands of UK-based Arab businessman, Shaikh Ahmad Alqarawi. Back to his roots after 35 years in the Gulf, he is now all set to make a comeback on the tiatr stage, as a singer and actor, thus working full time towards the growth of tiatr industry.

Pereira’s elder daughter, Velrose, is following in her father’s footsteps. Passionate about music and theatre, she obtained her Master’s degree in Fine Arts (theatre) via York University, Canada, and will soon be applying for Ph.D in theatre. 



Iddhar Udhar