Over the years, Ambaulim-based Francisco Cardozo has acted in many tiatrs, both in villages and on the professional stage. Popularly known as Frank Carr, a name that he picked during the school days, he is now busy making videos on songs of love and has plans in place once tiatr resumes. “My father, Natividade, was a well-known writer of ‘khell’, in the villages. He bagged prizes at many competitions and I remember him performing even in ‘Zagor’ another form of folk art. My mother, Maria was very supportive although she did not act,” he says.
In school he was a regular choice in the functions organised to showcase talent of the students. “My teachers, Yvette D’Silva, Peter Colaco and even the principal Narendra Hegde were very encouraging. I am grateful to them for helping me hone my talent, both in singing and acting,” he says.
Francisco’s first break in tiatr happened when F X Cardozo gave him the opportunity to sing for ‘Viswasghat’ at the Kala Academy Tiatr Competition for which the young singer bagged a merit certificate. Continuing in many village shows by Walter Menezes, Daniel Gomes, Andrew Travasso and others, he also acted for ‘Konn Nhoi Konnancho’, a tiatr by the late Ophelia and Bab Peter. “I was invited to render a solo for only one show in Sanvordem and I was happy with this blessing. After my performance, the director liked the song so much that he made me perform in all the shows in Goa. That was what was wonderful about this director couple,” he says, while remembering fondly how helpful the late veterans, Josephine, Robin Vaz, Alfred Rose, and others, used to be when he made his foray into tiatr.
While awaiting the call to join work on board the ship, he was cast in late C Alvares’ tiatr ‘Jurament’ in Mumbai. Besides this, he acted for Roseferns in ‘Avaz’ and Menino de Bandar in ‘Ami Soglim Ek’. His own tiatr ‘Mhojem Tem Tujem’ was staged in Quepem, with the help from Raul and Felix Pereira. He has also performed in various radio shows that were broadcast over AIR Panaji.
Blessed with a nice and clear voice, the singer would also previously render songs written by his friends and directors but now writes his own lyrics. In fact he recently released a video titled ‘Divorce’ on social media which has crossed 18,000 views. Once tiatr resumes, he is planning a show that will showcase raw talent, from Quepem and other places.
“Tiatr today has developed, with some good songs, acting, lighting and music. They have done away with prompting, that was common in the olden days,” he says. Appreciating the versatile new talent on stage today he advises: “Please try to compose your own songs and set them to music with the help of good musicians. Many times at shows, I see youngsters belting out songs composed by our veterans and only in tiatr, one sees youngsters coming out with new lyrics, although the tunes are old.”
And Francisco is grateful to Goa for his talent and all the blessings rendered. “My wife Maria too has been supportive and my two sons Franson and Frander, will soon release their own videos while my daughter Frama is a teacher. I have a grandson too! What more could I want. I am thankful for this,” he says.