In Conversation with...Patricia Rozario, OBE FRCM

From: Jane Doe , Posted Date: Jul 7th, 2017

Patricia Rozario, OBE FRCM needs little introduction to the readers of Femnet.  She is the internationally renowned British-soprano. Born in Bombay as it was then called, she has performed at prestigious venues all over the world. One of her most notable appearances was across Europe in The Marriage of Figaro, conducted by the late Sir Georg Solti. Since then her career has developed in opera, concert work, recording and broadcasting. Her unique voice and artistry has inspired over 15 of the world’s leading composers to write for her, notably Arvo Pärt and the late Sir John Tavener, who alone has written over thirty works for her, making their collaboration unique in the contemporary field.

Patricia has performed for Royalty and given concerts all over the world. In 2015 she performed for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister David Cameron at Wembley Stadium in London; the highlight of which was her signing God Save the Queen with Prime Minister Cameron. 

A cache of Awards under her belt: The Order of the British Empire in the 2001; the Asian Women’s Award for Achievement in the Arts 2002, the Global Goan Award, 2007, the prestigious Bharatiya Pravasi Samman in 2013, and, more recently, a Fellowship by the Royal College of Music.

Femnet recently caught up with Patricia in London. 

 …Giving Voice to India

With her husband, pianist Mark Troop, she founded Giving Voice to India, a long term project to improve Western classical singing in India and enhance its appreciation.  In just a few years the course has propelled six Indian singers for international study. They have had a hand in the blossoming careers of Amar Muchhala, Oscar Castellino and her latest protégé is Toshan Nongbet from Shillong.

“We started Giving Voice to raise the standard of Western Classical singing in India,” says Patricia. “The project teaches singing, in line with the format of international music academies, during which we work with Indian singers on various skills such as vocal technique, musical style and interpretation, foreign language and score reading skills.  We have taught more than 30 courses so far, and have worked with over 100 students. These courses, conducted in Mumbai, Panaji, Pune, Delhi, Chennai and Ahmedabad until now, are offered at highly subsidised rates to ensure their accessibility by anyone who is interested. Mark and I make it a point to visit India atleast three to four times a year.  We have also trained local singers, who demonstrate a sound understanding of the principles, to carry on our teaching work whilst we are away.  In April, we conducted workshops in Chennai, Mumbai and Goa.”

“The idea for Giving Voice really came when I started teaching myself. I saw that there was considerable talent in India but I was told that there were few teachers.  For some time, I had also been feeling that I should give something back to the country of my birth.  And that is how Giving Voice came into existence.”

... Opera Highlights

We have seen great commitment and interest from lots of singers who want to improve their singing. We have managed to put on two Operas with an all-Indian cast and are planning a third Opera production for July 2017. Cimarosa’s Il Matrimonio Segreto will be staged at the Royal Opera House in Mumbai with all our students, some of whom are studying in London. It is our hope that, over time, this will create a core of talented and committed students with a passion for singing and a yearning to pursue vocal music seriously.

...The Bombay to Mumbai connect

The majestic landmark, the Royal Opera House, built more than 100 years ago, was recently restored and re-launched as a centre for the performing arts. Patricia was invited to perform at the grand re-opening.  She feels “blessed” to have been part of that milestone event. The program of opera arias and songs with Mark Troop at the piano, received critical acclaim. It was a spectacular performance that left everybody spellbound.  For Patricia this was a nostalgic event.

 “I grew up in Santa Cruz, Mumbai, so, for me, this was a homecoming”, she said.  “It was like a dream come true.”  As she stated in an interview just before the performance “When I was a young singer I was tricked out of my debut performance at the Royal Opera House, London; so this will be my Royal Opera House debut and I shall be ever so proud of it.”

And we are proud of you, Patricia, and wish you and Mark many more years of success.