Music is synonymous with Goa. Goans will never give up an opportunity to celebrate and with the celebration, there is good food, drinks and music. Of course, each person has their own taste in music but in more recent years, a lot of people have tuned in to Western Classical as well as fusion music. The Monte Music Festival that is held every year in February at Old Goa is a great platform for this. People come from near and far to listen to music that touches them on different levels.
The Monte Music Festival in Old Goa
Since it’s conception in 2002, the Monte Music Festival is one of Goa’s most awaited annual cultural events. In fact, Fundação Oriente and Cidade de Goa have collaborated for over 16 years on this particular labor of love.
This festival brings together two forms of music; Western Classical and Indian Classical. Fundação Oriente and Cidade de Goa organize the Monte Music Festival in association with Kala Academy. It is held each year in the first week of February, usually between the 3rd and the 8th of the month.
The Monte Music Festival takes place in the courtyard of Capela da Nossa Senhora do Monte (Chapel of Our Lady of the Mount). Located high up on the hill near the churches of Old Goa, one gets a beautiful panoramic view of the city, the Mandovi river as well as the islands of Divar and Chorão and surrounding areas too.
The festival strives to link heritage with culture by bringing together the classical traditions of India and the West. Additionally, it also provides an ideal opportunity for music lovers to enjoy and collaborate in promoting Goa as a cultural destination.
The Monte Music Festival 2018
This year Fundação Oriente completes 30 years in Goa. Therefore, they are putting more effort into taking the festival to a higher level. There will be a performance by internationally acclaimed Portuguese fadistas – Pedro Moutinho accompanied by Andre Dias (guitar), Tiago Silva (fado guitar) and Daniel Pinto (acoustic bass) who will give voice to 25 poems that explore the various dimension of fado.
The opening performance of the festival will be a traditional Odissi dance recital by Mitali D’Souza and her two daughters, Diya and Risa. The day will end with a performance by the Aradhon Choir from Goa who will give a new perspective to Konkani hymns by creating vocal and instrumental arrangements around the melody.
Giving details of the performance during a press conference held on Monday, director of Fundação Oriente, Maria Inês Figueira says: “On February 3, folk singer Mangka along with the Laihui Ensemble will delight the audience with traditional songs from the State of Manipur and also a programme of sacred music will be delivered by The Bangalore Men.”
The closing performance for the festival will be rendered by celebrated pianist Marialena Fernandes who will perform together with Barna Banfi on saxophone and mezzo-soprano Mareike Jankowski on themes from Handel, Dvorak, Messiaen, Bartholdy and Liszt.
A musical experience of a lifetime
Over the years, the Monte Music Festival has become more and more well-attended. Performances happen in three settings in the chapel complex – the amphitheatre, the courtyard and the Chapel itself. Attendance is free and on a first-come-first-serve basis since space is limited. There are passes for the performances that take place inside the Chapel.
It’s truly an experience of a lifetime for music lovers. After all, who can resist lovely melodies and harmonies in a gorgeous setting like this?
The passes for the festival will be available from January 29 at the office of Fundação Oriente, Panaji. You can call on 08322230728 or 24336108 for more details. This year the festival is being held from the 3rd to the 5th of February, 2018.