On the second day of its 41st annual festival, SICA had the highly talented and
internationally acclaimed Priya sisters singing to an indulgent audience. Shanmukha
Priya, sober, composed and in control of the acoustics; and Hari Priya, sporting
a Diana hair-style, captivating, involved and coordinating with the accompanists,
were in command right from the start, with an attractive stage presence acquired
through years of experience and exposure.
Daughters of V Lalitha and V V Subba Rao, the duo started learning at the tender age of five from their parents, and improved their skill under the tutelage of Radha Jayalakshmi and T R Subramaniam. Devotees of Satya Sai Baba, the sisters have performed at most prestigious festivals. And their concert today proved that they really are priya (endearing) to rasikas (lovers of art)!
Starting the concert with 'Vanajakshiro', the sisters went on to sing three keertanas before they set the mood for raagaalaapana. There was a perfect blend of the voices at first. If you closed your eyes and listened, you couldn't tell which one was singing. It was only slowly that you could discern the voices, that the husky one was that of Hari Priya, and the traditional one, that of Shanmukha Priya.
The sisters took turns to reveal the command they have over their vocal renditions - especially in Raga Rasika Priya. The main item 'Palinchu Kamakshi' in Madhyamavathi had Hari Priya holding her own in raagaalaapana and the violinist Usha Rajagopalan accompanying her with equal aplomb. The program concluded with three brisk bhajan-keertanas. In all, an enchanting evening, all right!