The epoch-making figure on the stage
of Marathi musical plays, Bhaurao Kolhatkar, originally belonged
to Badoda (Vadodara). His father was a minstrel (a Haridas
– a holy singer).
Bhaurao and his elder brother Apparao
used to accompany their father in his temple singing.
In 1882, when Bhaurao entered the
profession of theater in his 20’s, he was a very good-looking
young man and he had got a heavenly voice.
He was the rarest combination of beauty,
sweet voice and youth, which was incarnated on the Marathi
stage. That’s why, when Bhaurao agreed to play the role
of ‘Shakuntala’, 2 songs were specially composed
Bhaurao could sing in a stout, gallant
voice as well as soft, delicate and touching voice. The voice
used to stir the audience and their emotions.
Kirloskar had Bhaurao in his mind when he composed songs for
‘Soubhadra’. Bhaurao had learnt all the pros and
cons of ‘Lavani singing’ during his stay at Badoda
His high-pitched voice could easily
reach its highest point (tar-saptak) with ease.
Although Bhaurao had not learnt Indian
classical singing formally; he mastered all forms of singing
in the company of Balkoba Natekar in Kirloskar Natak Mandli.
Audiences adored Bhaurao by a favourite pet-name-‘Bhavdya’.
Old-timers still remember Bhaurao
in the roles of Manthara in ‘Ramrajya Viyog’,
Charudatta in ‘Mruchchakatik’, Shoorsen in ‘Veer
Tanay’ and koundinya in ‘Sharda’.