01 Aug 2020 | 03:41am IST
The evergreen hero’s 100th. And Goa prepares to celebrate
August 1, 2020 marks the birth centenary of ace director and evergreen hero of the Konkani stage, Santana Francisco Alvares aka Celestino Alvares (C Alvares). C Alvares and Brothers Memorial Trust had planned some cultural programmes this year with the backing of the Tiatr Academy of Goa (TAG). But the COVID related restrictions have postponed the celebrations
Born on August 1, 1920 to Caetano Alvares and Anunciacao de Souza in Saligao, C Alvares proceeded to Bombay and attended night school, when only 9,
while training himself as a motor mechanic. He first acted in his father’s tiatr at the age of 7, singing a song or two composed by his father, who was an ace comedian, especially in ‘zagors’ (folk plays).
Being an excellent singer, C Alvares was sought by the topmost directors of those yesteryears to render a solo or two in their tiatrs. Beginning with small concerts, he graduated to penning and producing his own tiatrs.
In a career spanning over five decades, C Alvares wrote and produced 105 tiatrs, apart from acting and singing in each of them. C Alvares was an actor of the highest calibre and was called ‘Evergreen Hero’. He was equally an excellent director and earned the title of ‘ace director’.
C Alvares was also noted as a composer of songs, namely solos, duets, trios and quartets. However, his duets gained fame and he earned the sobriquet ‘King of Duets’, a title bestowed on him by Roque Antonio Pereira, the former editor of ‘Goa Times’.
Apart from tiatrs, C Alvares has also performed in lead roles in the first Konkani films ‘Amchem Noxib’, ‘Nirmonn’, ‘Mhoji Ghorkarn’ and ‘Bhuimarantlo Munis’. For acting in film ‘Nirmonn’, he received the ‘Man of the Year’ award at the hands of late prime minister of India, Indira Gandhi.
A step forward, C Alvares produced a telefilm ‘Mogachi Faxi’, which won the best supporting actor and best child artiste awards. He also projected himself as a patriot and composed a special song ‘Jawan’ in order to raise funds during the 1972 Indo-China war.
Enjoying the privilege of acting in almost 30 tiatrs of C Alvares, “he was a good director and fine composer of ‘duets’. Be it in Goa, Mumbai or in the Gulf, he always encouraged new artistes on stage. For his immense contribution in tiatrs and films, the authorities failed to honour him with the Goa State Cultural Award, which he duly deserved,” regretted senior tiatrist, Jessie Dias.
To mark the birth centenary of this great tiatrist, the C Alvares and Brothers Memorial Trust had planned some cultural programmes this year. And with the institution of a special committee, the Tiatr Academy of Goa (TAG) had also announced the C Alvares’ birth centenary celebrations, but it was not feasible on account of Covid-19 and the lockdown that followed.
But the members of the Trust have appealed the TAG and Art and Culture department to postpone the celebrations to a further convenient date. And the concerned authorities have obliged and expressed their wholehearted support for the forthcoming events.
The Postal Services have agreed to release a Special Cover and Special Cancellation at the hands of the Post Master General, Goa region, Dr N VinodKumar, IPoS.