(By courtesy of sundaytimes.lk, 02nd November 2008)
Veteran actor, stage producer and director, Victor Wicremage in an effort to preserve the art of 'Noorthi' will release 'Noorthi Gee', the songs of golden Noorthi era, a DVD with Karaoke at 10.45 am on November 8 at Elphinstone theatre.
The DVD will comprise 20 Noorthi songs like ‘Amba Damba Naran Kesel Del’, ‘Lowe Genu Paradai’, ‘Sirisangabodi Maligawedi’ and ‘Danno Budunge’ which are even famous among the present generation.
The songs with new music without harming the original melodies will be sung and played by veterans in the stage drama scene including Wijeratne Warakagoda, Sandun Wijesiri, Anula Bulathsinghala, Quintus Weerakoon, Nimal Jayasinghe, Premadasa Vithange, Gamini Hettiarachchi and Victor himself and the younger generation representing Ivanka Peiris, Ajith Theldeniya, Lakshitha Sewwandhi, Dhanuska Gayan Perera and Victor's son Saliya Sathyajith who shot to fame with Dancing Star.
‘Most of the time the lyrics of these songs are changed and distorted making them meaningless by the present generation. This is because they do not know the original lyrics and this is why I wanted to give the original words in karaoke form so that they would be preserved’ Wickremage said.
The songs which came up in Noorthis of John de Silva and Charles Dias were done with copy right taken from the relevant authorities and a number of songs will be performed at the event on November 8 and there the DVDs would be available at a special price.
Wickremage's golden jubilee in art
Well known actor in the Tower Hall era, Wickremage has played main roles in a number of famous Noorthis like 'Siri Sangabo' and 'Siwamma Dhanapala' where he played with then leading actresses like Rukmani Devi.
He studied at Kotahena Gunananda Vidyalaya, Wickremage joined Noorthi as a child playing the role of Jaliya in 'Wessanthara'.
‘I played the role with singer Nanda Malanee who played Krishnajina and we were little children then," Wickremage said.
Son of W. Sylvester Master, one of the pioneers in the Tower Hall era and well known name in Noorthi era, Wickremage had the opportunity to be brought up under the backdrop of Noorthi plays and songs.
‘My father being a pupil of John de Silva and proctor Charles Dias and winner of four gold medals from Colonial Governors for his performances, I was brought of with Noorthi plays and songs," Wickremage reminiscing his childhood said.
Later he produced and directed 'Wessanthara' and ‘Sivamma Dhanapala’ in which Rukmanie Devi played lead roles. Later on the invitation of Rukmanie, Wickremage re-produced B. A. W. Jayamanne's play ‘Kadawunu Poronduwa’.
When Tower Hall was taken back to the government in 1978 Wickremage was appointed as the Assistant Manager by late President Ranasinghe Premadasa. Not only in Noorthi, Wickremage also performed in Dr. Ediriweera Sarachchandra's plays like ‘Mahasara’.
Later on the invitation of former chairman of Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation, M. G. Perera, Wickremage produced a number of Tower Hall plays to miniscreen.
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