18th Kalakar Puraskar Bestowed on ‘Yodeling King’ Melwyn Peris by Mandy Sobhann
Mangaluru: Konkani music ‘ Yodeling King’ Melwyn Johnson Peris was awarded the 18th edition of Kølakar Purøskar presented by the Carvalho Household of Kundapura, (a family of Jesuit priest Dr Pratap Naik SJ, who is based in Goa) Udupi District and Mandd Sobhann, Mangaluru. He was honoured with a traditional turban, shawl, flower garland, fruits basket, memento, citation, and 50,000/- rupees at the award ceremony which was held at Kalangann on the 6th November 2022. Philanthropist Nelson Rodricks, Dubai was the chief guest and honoured Melwyn Peris with the award. Konkani linguist Dr Pratap Naik SJ, and his siblings in the name of their Carvalho Household of Kundapura established the Kølakar Purøskar in 2005 in association with Mandd Sobhann to honour Konknni artists of Karnataka origin.
Delivering introductory remarks, Dr Pratap Naik the representative of Carvalho Household announced that from this year onwards the amount of the award has been doubled, namely rupees 50,000/-. He appealed to other families to install similar awards for Konknni artists to boost their talents. His sister, brother-in-law, and niece were present on the dais with Eric Ozario, Louis Pinto, Kishore Fernandes, and Irene Rebello the office bearers of Mandd Sobhann. While receiving the award, Melwyn remembered those who had helped him in his journey. Secretary Kishore Fernandez read the citation. Arun Raj Rodrigues compered the program.
Later the senior Konknni lyricist and musician Apollinaris D’Souza initiated the 251st Monthly programme “Mhøynyalli Mančhi” by tolling the bell, which is the unique custom of Mandd Sobhann. This was followed by a musical programme titled ‘Git Gõyčhyê Asmitayêčhem’ by Ramanand Raikar’s Swarashree, the Goa troupe. Kingsley Nazareth was in charge of the light and sound arrangements. The members of Mandd Sobhann organized the entire programme with their creative style of taking care of every minute detail.
‘Geet Gonychya Asmitayechem’ was presented by Swarashree Troupe from Goa as the 251st monthly Theatre. Directed by Ramanand Raikar, starring Sonali Pednekar, Sandesh Kundaikar, Deepti Kundaikar, Yogita Vernekar, Shailesh Salgaonkar, Shayani Salgaonkar, Pramod Surlekar, Mangesh Shetye, Raju Parab, Navso Naik, Atul Parab, Digesh Anglo, Jitendra Tandel, Sayraj Kherkar and Aadi Vernekar.
Melwyn, who started singing at the age of six, wrote lyrics to songs at the age of 16. In the name of ‘Peris Nite’, he has been entertaining people through Konkani Nite-style musical evenings. He earned the title of Yodeling King from the people of Konkani due to his yodelling technique. So far he has staged 109 Nite shows organized by various organizations including his own production house ‘Søngit Ghør. He has the credit of sharing the stage with most of the Konkani singers, seniors and juniors. In 2018 more than Rs.45 lakhs was collected through his ‘Sentimental Nite’ for the treatment of poor cancer patients. He also responded to the needs of society through many other musical nites.
He has composed over 700 songs and over 300 devotional songs. These devotional songs have imprimatur from the Diocese and are being used by devotees all over the world in their religious activities. He was a member of the Angelore church choir for more than 41 years and a choirmaster for 30 years. His video songs are also popular in the Tulu language. He has published five books of his songs, ‘Mødhur Pødam’ in 3 volumes and ‘Suvallo’ in 2 volumes.
He has produced 30 audio CDs, 21 devotional audio CDs and 1 video CD. Other 50 video songs are available to watch on his YouTube channel. Melwyn, who has also made his mark in the field of acting, acted in several plays and won the best actor award twice in the inter-church drama competition. And acting in the lead role in the short film “Konn To Amčhê Mødhlo?” He has won several awards for his singing from the prestigious Konkani Natak Sabhas inter-parish singing competitions. Sandesha Kala Award (1994), Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy Award (2000) Mandd Sobhann – Global Konkani Music Awards – Best Singer Award (2012) among others.
With Inputs from Dr Pratap Naik SJ-Goa