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Yakshagana Exponent Subrahmanya Dhareshwar Passes Away

The world of Yakshagana, a traditional theatre form of Karnataka, has lost a towering figure. Subrahmanya Dhareshwar, a senior and well-known Yakshagana ‘bhagavatha’ (background singer), passed away in Bengaluru. He was 66 years old.

A Life Dedicated to Yakshagana

Born on September 5, 1957, in Kirimanjeshwara, Kundapura taluk, Udupi district, Dhareshwar hailed from a family with a deep connection to Yakshagana. His father, Lakshminarayana Bhat, was an amateur Yakshagana artiste, instilling in him a passion for the art form from an early age.

A Disciple of Legends

Dhareshwar was a disciple of the legendary Yakshagana ‘bhagavatha’ late Narnappa Uppura. He entered the world of professional Yakshagana singing at the age of 21, captivating audiences with his melodious and rich voice.

Filling a Void

After the untimely demise of the legendary Yakshagana ‘bhagavatha’ Kalinga Navada in 1990, Dhareshwar filled the vacuum created in the Badagu Thittu (Southern) school of Yakshagana, carrying forward the rich tradition with his exceptional talent.

A Decorated Career

A recipient of the prestigious Karnataka Rajyotsava award, Dhareshwar was a professional ‘bhagavatha’ for nearly four decades. He performed with renowned Yakshagana melas (touring troupes) such as Amrutheswari, Hiremahalingeshwara, Panchalinga, and Perdoor. Even after his retirement as the ‘pradhana bhagavatha’ (principal singer) from the Perdoor Yakshagana mela, he continued to grace various Yakshagana shows and ‘Talamaddales’ (traditional Yakshagana singing events) until recently.

A Legacy of Melody

Dhareshwar’s melodious voice and rich renditions earned him hundreds and thousands of fans across Karnataka and beyond. His passing marks the end of an era, leaving a void in the Yakshagana world that will be difficult to fill.

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