Kishori Amonkar fumes at casino operator sponsoring her concert

June 4th, 2009 - 6:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, June 4 (IANS) Noted Hindustani classical singer and Padma Vibhushan awardee Kishori Amonkar has said she was “insulted” by the organisers of her concert in Goa as they sought sponsorship from a casino operator.
“I treat my music as part of divinity. I have never played in a hotel and they made me sing at a show sponsored by a casino in my own state? I consider this as an insult,” Kishori Amonkar told IANS Thursday.

“If I had known it was casino money which was being used to sponsor the show, I would have never agreed to perform,” she said, referring to her show at the Kala Academy in Goa May 30.

Kishori Amonkar also said the organisers had not paid her for the performance.

The show was cut short after the vocalist of Goan origin stormed off the stage irritated by a faulty sound system and jeering audience.

The programme was organised as part of the The Evening with Masters series organised by the SNK group along with the Kala Academy and sponsored by the Maharaja offshore casino.

“I did not know until and after the performance that John Snowball, who had shared the dais at the press conference with me, was associated with a casino,” she said referring to the managing director of the Maharaja casino.

The noted singer has also accused SNK, the organisers, of not paying her a fee of Rs.150,000 for her performance.

“They have not even paid the musicians who play along with me. They claim that I cannot be paid because I did not complete the show. The sound system was not functioning and the crowd was jeering me. I even offered to do a free performance the following day,” she said, adding that she was forced to quit midway because of these unfavourable circumstances.

Pandurang Phaldesai, member secretary of the Panaji-based Kala Academy which hosted the performance, said that Amonkar came on stage 45 minutes after the stipulated time and then started fine tuning the musical instruments, which left the audience frustrated.

“It also appears that she was suffering from a cold and may not have wanted to sing,” Phaldesai told IANS, admitting that the audience did jeer Amonkar as she repeatedly complained about the faulty sound system.

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