The opening day of the three-day long (January 4-6) Bangla Utshab featured performances of Tagore songs, adhunik Bangla numbers and film songs by both Bangladeshi and Indian singers.
Lopamudra Mitra set off the musical performances with Tagore songs, based on the six Bengali seasons. The artiste sang several songs including Esho Hey Baishakh, Esho Shyamol Sundor, Dekho Dekho Suktara, Heemel O Raat-er Oi Gagoner and Neel Digantey Oi Phuler Agun Laglo. Lopamudra, together with her instrumental accompanists, performed a modern and experimental rendition of the Tagore songs.
Prabuddha Raha took to stage to also perform Tagore songs such as Dekha Na Dekhaye Mesha Hey and a baitalik (off-beat) number Chirosakha Hey.
Rezwana Choudhury Bannya, who is equally popular in both Bangladesh and Kolkata, rendered several Tagore songs, including Doya Diye Hobe Go Mor, Nithur Aro Ki Baan, a dhrupad, Kar Milono Chao Birohi and Pran Chaye Chokkhu Na Chaye. The artiste soulfully offered a baitalik song Era Por Ke Apon Kore that won over the audience. The artiste also shared background stories, allusions and references regarding the songs amidst her presentation.
The platform paved the path for showcasing the excellence of adhunik Bangla songs originating in Dhaka and Kolkata during the period ranging from the early 90s till date. Shubhamita Banerjee rendered her hit songs including Akash Hashena Ager Moton and Dekhechho Ki Takey while Nachiketa Chakrabarty mesmerised the audience with his Jibonmukhi (life-oriented) music.
During his eclectic presentation, he sang Antobihin Poth Cholai Jibon, Anirban-1, Neelanjana-1 and a new satirical song titled Facebook.
National award winning Bangladeshi singer Fahmida Nabi performed romantic songs such as Ke Tumi, Jodi Akasher Neel and a melodious film score Tumi Kokhon Eshe Dariye Achho, originally recorded by her late father Mahmud Un Nabi. She ended her performance with her hit song Lukochuri Lukochuri Golpo, which was featured in the film Aha and earned her the National Film Award in 2007.
Bappa Mazumder captivated the music lovers at the festival with his hit songs. His repertoire included a mellow number Brishti Pore Ajhor Dharaye, a Sanjeeb Chowdhury classic, Ami Tomakei Bole Debo and the pop number, Tumi Amar Bayanno Tash.
The show-stopper, Anupam Roy, started off his performance with the song Bariye Dao Tomar Haat and went on to sing his popular melodies, which included Je Kota Din Tumi Chhile Pashe, Ami Ki Tomaye Khub Birokto Korchhi and Amake Amar Moto Thakte Dao.
Bengal Group, Bandhan Bank, The Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Nothing Beyond Cinema have jointly organised the festival that concludes today, featuring performances by Samina Chowdhury, Andrew Kishore, Iman Chakraborty and Rupankar Bagchi – all rendering adhunik and film songs.
Durnibar Saha will present Tagore songs, while Kolkata-based band Chandrabindu is set to enthrall the audience.
Pandit Bickram Ghosh, Gopal Barman, Satyajit Mukherjee, Md Moniruzzaman and Dasharath Das will play Talbadya. Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty will wrap up the festival with Raga-based Bangla songs.
Aside from the musical performances, the festival is also offering delicious Bangladeshi cuisine, brought here by Paturi and Banglar Mishti from Dhaka.