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Somplolea Tiatristancho Ugdass/ Remembering Tiatr Artistes of Yester Years

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May 2012

TAG Remembers Ermelin, Cruz Jazzwala & Mussolini Menezes

Tiatr Academy Goa (TAG) organized its monthly programme ‘Somplolea Tiatristancho Ugddas’ – Remembering Tiatr Artistes of Yester Years on 21st May 2012 at the Conference Hall of TAG, Campal Trade Centre, Campal Panjim to remember veteran artistes of tiatr stage namely Ermelin Cardoz, Baptista Cruz Noronha (Cruz Jazzwala) and Mussolini Vales de Menezes.

“It was Ermelin who was responsible to bring Prithviraj Kapoor the stalwart of Hindi cinema on the screen” narrated Shri. Tomazinho Cardozo, former President of Tiatr Academy Goa who was the main speaker on the occasion. It so happened that during the shooting of ‘Cinema Girl’ the cast opposite Ermelin did not turn up and the director of the film asked Ermelin’s choice and she choose Prithviraj Kapoor. Mr. Cardozo cited these excerpts from the book ‘Location Goa’ in which Mario Cabral e Sa has dedicated a full write-up on Ermelin. Speaking further he said that at that time Ermelin was paid around Rs. 5000/- a month which was a huge amount at that time when other actors were paid around Rs. 2000/- to Rs. 3000/-. “One of the most beautiful heroines of Indian cinema Ermelin has acted in about 40 Hindi silent films some of which are ‘Hotel Padmini’, ‘Cinema Girl’, ‘Red Signal’, ‘Children of Storm’, ‘Noor e Bagdad’, ‘Jagad Guru’, ‘Daring Damsel’… Later on Ermelin was married to Saib Rocha one of the greatest writer and director of Goan Tiatr. It was a tragic end of ‘Sudhabala’ the name by which Ermelin was known on the silver screen. She died on the sets in an accident during the shooting of one of her films”. Mr. Cardozo further said that it was a matter of great pride for Goans that an actress of such a depute stepped on the tiatr stage. Giving the names of the tiatrs he stated that she  acted in lead roles in  Saib Rocha’s ‘Romeo & Juliet’, ‘Mog ani Krim’… and Souza Ferrao’s ‘Almam Sorgar Vetat’.

Speaking on Cruz Jazzwala Mr. Cardozo said that Cruz was a multifaceted personality who was not only known as an actor but also was an exemplary writer, director lyricist, singer and a great musician. He further stated that he could play trumpet, Violin, Double Bass and Hawain Guitar. He was a lover of folklore and had great love for Goa and his mother tongue. This was evident from his songs and mandos which he composed which evolved around Goa and Goans. He has composed and recorded more than 25 Konkani songs on gramophone records and some of his famous compositions are ‘Mhozo Poti Mumboi ghela’, ‘Jakin Bai’, ‘Istimosanv Rozachem’, etc. He was also a very handsome lad and had also acted female roles in tiatrs of late J. P. Souzalin, Anthony de Sa, Minguel Rod, etc.

Speaking on Mussolini Menezes Mr. Cardozo stated that Mussolini was a unique tiatr writer and director. Being a freedom fighter his tiatrs were focused on Goa’s freedom struggles which are evident from the names eg ‘Raoji Ranno’, ‘Padrinchem Bondd’, ‘Cuncolimche Martyr’. As his tiatrs were based on Goa’s freedom he could not have the shows in Goa and hence had to show them in Belgaum, Mumbai and Delhi because the Portuguese wouldn’t allow such tiatrs to be shown in Goa at that time. He also said that Mr. Menezes a great lover of Goan folklore and folk music. He showcased this wherein he presented all the 32 Goan folk forms to packed auditoriums in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Madras, Pune, etc.

Summing up on all the three artistes Mr. Cardozo said that all the three artistes are unique as there was something different in them which one could not find in a general tiatr artistes. He also requested the family members of these late artistes to handover the tiatr scripts of these late artistes to TAG so that it can be preserved for posterity.

Prominent among others who spoke on the occasion were Master Vaz, Anil Kumar, Fr. Alfred Almeida. Bab Andrew rendered mando and song ‘Mhozo Poto Momboi Gela’ and ‘Taxi Driver’ which received a great applause from the audience. Shery Noronha wife of late Cruz Jazzwala rendered a beautiful mando ‘Khuxi Kazarachi’. Julius Noronha Cruz’s son thanked TAG for organizing such programmes wherein the late artistes are remembered. Mussolini’s daughter Syonora and son-in-law Xavier were also present on the occasion. Also present were John Claro, Jessie Dias, Irene Cardozo, Annie de Colvale, Tina Costa, Cezar D’Melo, Sheik Amir, Jose Salvador Fernandes, Dr. Jerry Rodrigues and Octavio.

Earlier Shri. Victor de Sa, Member Secretary of TAG welcomed the audience. Shri. Joy Fernandes, Cultural Organizer of TAG proposed a vote of thanks and compered the function.

Julius Noronha son of late Cruz Noronha
Shri. Victor de Sa, Member Secretary presenting a memento to the family members of Mussolini Menezes


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