There’s nothing like some cheerful old-fashioned music to brighten up a damp monsoon evening. Jennifer Heemstra and Marla Berg knew exactly how to do that at The Kolkata Classics Club & Swar Sangam presents Monsoon Melodies, in association with t2, at Kala Mandir.
Pianist Jennifer and opera singer Marla from Cleveland performed classical pieces as well as songs from popular Broadway musicals. This is the last of the six concerts of the Kolkata Classics concert series, all partnered with The Telegraph that Marla has participated in. She has also performed for students of the Birla schools, and NGOs.
The audience at Kala Mandir may just as well have been children too. The story behind each aria was offered and the congregation was taught how to interpret the voice modulation and the music. They also practised pronouncing “Das Veilchen” but didn’t quite pass the test! Marla demonstrated how she didn’t need a microphone to be heard loud and clear even in the last row of the hall but admitted she was “getting used to the mic and it’s kind of fun”.
“Marla is very good at breaking the barrier between audience and performer. The audience was incredibly receptive, which was heartening because we want to inspire people to listen and understand Western classical music,” said Jennifer.
Text: Ramona Sen
Pictures: Anindya Shankar Ray