Santacruz-based Oscar Castellino is receiving laurels across the globe as his composition has been appreciated as the Mars Anthem.
“Rise to Mars! Men and women, Dare to dream! Dare to strive! Build a home for our children, Make this desert come alive!”
This baritone voice resonated in the Dora Stoutzker Hall at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff. Mumbai-based Oscar Castellino, an opera singer enthralled the audience as he sang the mars anthem in this signature style. The Mars Society named his composition as the ‘Mars Anthem’ and since then he has been receiving accolades for his distinct voice.
Jamming with his family on the beaches of Goa was his only formal training in singing, and being an opera singer was never on the radar as a kid, shares Oscar. “I didn’t really learn music and I’m not trained in it. I’m from Goa and everyone in the family can sing. We used to often sit, play the guitar and jam together,” he says.
A student of city’s St. Xavier’s college, Oscar was studying Physics at the institute and decided to join the evening choir for fun. His melodious journey began since then. “I joined the evening choir in college and realised that I enjoy singing and that I was different. I joined the choir to sing for fun and met Soprano Patricia Rozario and that changed things, she said that I had a distinct voice and that I should try this form of art,” Oscar shares.
Opera singing then overtook physics and Oscar flew to London to try his luck, “I then decided to make a career in opera and auditioned at a music college in London, out of hundred applicants only ten were selected and I was one of them,” he says. After finishing his basic course in London, Oscar then moved to Cardiff, Wales to pursue an advanced course in Opera singing,” shares the 31-year-old.
Oscar was always interested in the Mars Society and when he wrote to them about how he could help the organisation, they suggested that he writes a tune for them. “I’m an opera singer and I would always want to write, sing something that I have created on my own. I wanted to create something which people would sing easily, hum on the streets and be impressed by. Singing an opera is different from any other type of singing, one has to sing over a huge orchestra for four hours without stressing the vocals, it’s almost like the athletics for vocals.”
He worked on the tune for a month, “I met Dr. Robert Zubrin, the president of the Mars society, he said that they need a good tune. I studied Mars carefully and composed a tune in February, I got an approval from him, and we registered the tune, got an orchestra and were ready to play.”