Bahrain: 12 Singers Qualify for 'Gulf Voice of Mangalore' Semi-finals

By  Ronald D. F. D’Souza & Joe Andrade for Daijiworld Media Network

Manama, Jun 6:   6th June, 2008 was a red letter day in the annals of Konkani singing enthusiasts in Bahrain as “The Gulf Voice of Mangalore” preliminary auditions took-off at the Karnataka Social Club Cultural Hall premises in Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain, this morning.  It was organized by the Karavali Konkans Association, Bahrain, under the leadership of Ronald D. F. D’Souza.   With 18 contestants in the fray, 12 of them were chosen as per the competition regulations to move forward to the semi-finals to be held on 9th October, 2008.

An eagerly enthusiastic Konkani gathering of well-wishers and a complement of 18 contestants from the cross-section of the Mangalorean community, all amateur singers, made headway through the “Gulf Voice of Mangalore” program agenda of the competition to make it a grand success.    It was a rare opportunity for Konkani singers 18 years and above, to bring out their hidden and perhaps latent singing talent and find their Konkani singing voice.



At the outset, Hillary Tellis, welcomed the gathering with a minute’s silence being observed prayer, particularly in memory of late Johnny Suratkal, an ardent supporter of  Karavali Konkans Association and its programs. Tellis gave a brief introduction of Karavali Konkans Association that was established in 2006 with the inaugural successful program “Dabazo 2006” conducted on 23rd February, 2006.

The floor was then given to the Secretary of the Association, Joe Andrade, who welcomed and introduced the four distinguished judges, Kevin D’Cunha, Miss Olivia Vaz, Swebert Mascarenhas and Andy Fernandes, all well known personalities in the music and entertainment fraternity in Bahrain, to the audience and contestants.    The four judges formed a unique qualified capable team to judge and audition the “Gulf Voice of Mangalore” contest as outlined by the organisers of the program in the Middle East, the Youth Recreation Club of Kuwait. Tellis then gave a brief outline of the Contest procedure meant for the contestants and took off with the contest in his typical style.    

The platform stage was niched to groom the occasion with two stoic pillars and a crispy blue-black backdrop filled with musical octave and soprano notes in bright gold highlighting conspicuously, the two orders of the day -  “Gulf Voice of Mangalore” and “Karavali Konkans Association” – a handiwork of the talented Girish Iddya, a well-wisher and supporter of the Association.       

A raised circular mini-platform focused with dispersed lights, formed the pulpit from where each contestant braved the audience, finding their unique voice in a healthy competition spirit.

From 11.15 a.m. onwards, each of the 18 contestants, who were dressed for the occasion in their colorful best, marched to the pulpit one by one to the announcement of their names, giving the best of their solo song performance  concluded by one of the judges auditioning them.  

It was one unique performance from the entire contestants’ lot, taking place in Bahrain for the first time and that too in Konkani.    

There were moments of anxiety, cheerfulness, boldness and awe during audition time and every contestant went abour in responding in their unique demeanour  answering the questions outright or abiding by the judge’s requests.    

The contest concluded few minutes before 2.00 p.m. to the thunderous applause of the audience.    In fact, the audience was quite encouraging with their pin drop silence and the enthusiastic regular applause that boosted the spirits of the contestants.    



Among the contestants, a married couple, Nirmala and Ronald Fernandes, added colour to the stage by their performance  

It’s rare when we see couples contesting in a same competition

Fr. Michael Lobo, a visiting Mangalorean priest, was the guest of honour on the occasion.   He was welcomed and honored by the Association on the dais with a bouquet of flowers.   Fr. Lobo spoke few words on the occasion appreciating the efforts of the Association and encouraged the audience to support the Association’s forthcoming programs.     Fr. Lobo then presented a flower each to all the judges and contestants in appreciation of their competition efforts on behalf of the Association.   

D’Souza then thanked Fr. Lobo for his gracious presence and addressed the audience  briefing them on  the rules and regulations for the next leg of the “Gulf Voice of Mangalore” competition to be held on 9th October, 2008, for the 12 (twelve) selected contestants.  

In a surprise diversion from the Agenda, the bouquet presented to Fr. Michael Lobo was auctioned by Mr. Anand Lobo, in his unique din, bustle and hussle style, in a benevolent gesture, for the good works of Fr. Lobo in India.     Would you believe it to know that Mr. Anand Lobo himself walked away with the bouquet!?

Gratitude is memory of the heart.   The Vote of Thanks to all the supporters, well-wishers, guests, members and their families who assisted in one way or other to make the contest happen was given by Joe Andrade to the loud thankful applause of the gathering.

A sumptuous lunch menu was served thereafter .    There were refreshments and snacks served to the audience earlier during the contests.   The catering arrangements were organized by  Vittal Shetty of Chef’s Corner, a good supporter of the Association.

The judges in the meantime along with Joe Andrade  worked out the selections of 12 contestants from the lot.   In the meanwhile there was Baila dancing to the tunes of DJ Vallie by the Mangalorean gathering.    

Thanks to DJ Vallie for having kept the momentum of the crowd vibrating with his musical interlude and the gyrating ‘Baila’ discs.      

The program came to a close with the announcement of the 12 contestants selected by the judges in a competition that was fair and square, appreciated by the judges and the audience at large by Ronald D’Souza.     Twelve of these have walked merrily home today for sure, singing the same Konkani winning numbers they sang on the pulpit today 

Ronald D’Souza announced that the semi-finals would take place at the Ramada Palace Hotel, Bahrain, on 9th October, 2008, with the finals being held in Kuwait.

The names of the semi-finalists declared were:
Richard Pais
Cynthia D’Souza
Maxim Sequeira
Susan Alva
Melba Martis
Christopher Lobo
Freeda Sequeira
Anand Lobo
Ronald Fernandes
Sunil Fernandes
Lavina Dantis
Winston Aranha

The program concluded at 3.00 p m


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Comment on this article

  • Reagan, India

    Thu, Feb 19 2009

    Hey congrats Susan .. This is Reagan from your college in india

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Anil Gonsalves, Mangalore/Bangalore

    Sun, Jun 8 2008

    Congratulations dear Christopher Roshan Lobo. Best of luck…..!

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Laurine, Kateel/Bahrain

    Sun, Jun 8 2008

    Hearty Congrtatulations to Richard Pais Cynthia D’Souza Maxim Sequeira Susan Alva Melba Martis Christopher Lobo Freeda Sequeira Anand Lobo Ronald Fernandes Sunil Fernandes Lavina Dantis Winston Aranha Keep up the good work.... All the best for the next Semi Final.

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • george, bahrain/

    Sat, Jun 7 2008


    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse


Title : Bahrain: 12 Singers Qualify for 'Gulf Voice of Mangalore' Semi-finals


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